Books written by our members

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Liz Kalaugher and Matin Durrani

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Edition: First
Year of publication: 2016

The animal world is full of mysteries. Why do dogs slurp from their drinking bowls while cats lap up water with a delicate flick of the tongue? How does a tiny turtle hatchling from Florida circle the entire northern Atlantic before returning to the very beach where it hatched? And how can a Komodo dragon kill a water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a domestic cat's?

These puzzles – and many more besides – are all explained by physics. From heat and light to electricity and magnetism, Furry Logic unveils the ways that more than 30 animals exploit physics to eat, drink, mate and dodge death in their daily battle for survival.

Along the way, science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher introduce the great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, as well as the animal experts of today who are scouring the planet to find and study the animals that seem to push the laws of physics to the limit.

Presenting mind-bending physics principles in a simple and engaging way, Furry Logic will appeal both to animal lovers and to those curious to see how physics crops up in the natural world. It's more of a 'howdunit' than a whodunit, though you're unlikely to guess some of the answers.


“Packed with insight and information.” – Jim Al-Khalili, physicist and broadcaster

“Wonderful, wild and witty.” – Ian Sample, science editor, Guardian,

To order a review copy or for press enquiries, contact Rebecca Thorne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK Tel. +44 (0)20 7631 5600

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Sorting the Beef from the Bull by Nicola Temple
Bloomsbury, 2016

Food adulteration, motivated by money, is an issue that has spanned the globe throughout human history. Whether it's a matter of making a good quality oil stretch a bit further by adding a little extra 'something' or labelling a food falsely to appeal to current consumer trends - it's all food fraud, and it costs the food industry billions of dollars each year. The price to consumers may be even higher, with some paying for these crimes with their health and, in some cases, their lives.

Sorting the Beef from the Bull is a collection of food fraud tales from around the world. It explains the role of science in uncovering some of the century's biggest food scams, and explores the arms race between food forensics and fraudsters as new methods of detection spur more creative and sophisticated means of committing the crimes. This book equips us with the knowledge of what is possible in the world of food fraud and shines a light on the shady areas of our food supply system where these criminals lurk.

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Ruth Killick, 01291 680319, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Herding Hemingway's Cats by Kat Arney
Bloomsbury Sigma
1st Edition
January 2016

The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work?

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the 'recipes' that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with myriad control switches ensuring they're turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. Figuring out how it all works - how your genes build your body - is a major challenge for researchers around the world. And what they're discovering is that far from genes being a fixed, deterministic blueprint, things are much more random and wobbly than anyone expected.

Drawing on stories ranging from six toed cats and stickleback hips to Mickey Mouse mice and zombie genes - told by researchers working at the cutting edge of genetics - Kat Arney explores the mysteries in our genomes with clarity, flair and wit, creating a companion reader to the book of life itself.

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Enzyme Nanocarriers
Editors: Daniela Cardinale & Thierry Michon
Publisher: Pan Stanford
Year of publication: 2015
Eds: Daniela Cardinale & Thierry Michon
Multi-authored book: Jane Besong-Ndika, Jocelyne Walter, Kristiina Mäkinen, Daniela Cardinale, Noëlle Carette, Thierry Michon, W. Frederik Rurup, Melissa S. T. Koay, Jeroen J. L. M. Cornelissen, Jorgen S. Willemsen, Floris P. J. T. Rutjes, Jan C. M. van Hest, Melissa D. Howard, Elizabeth D. Hood, Vladimir R. Muzykantov, Juan Elezgaray, Jean-Pierre Aimé, Jean-Michel Arbona, Aline Cerf, Christophe Thibault, Emmanuelle Trévisiol, Christophe Vieu
The research presented in this book was selected among the most impressive achievements in the fields of enzyme bioconjugation and bioinspired nanosupports. It opens up potential applications in nanocatalysis and for lab-on-a-chip and biosensor devices, drug delivery vectors, and nanometrology. Most of the supports described pertain to soft materials (cells, virus, polymers, DNA) and most of the examples benefit from the amazing properties of proteins and DNA to self-assemble, according to the "bottom-up law," a specific feature of all living systems. The enzyme nanocarriers also have the potential to be grafted on solid supports through "top-down" technologies, spanning orders of magnitude from the nano- to the mesoscale and above. The book is a rich source of inspiration for researchers seeking to build smart materials requiring nanoscale positional control of functional proteins on various carriers.
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A guide to help university students, scientists, technical and business people prepare technical reports and oral presentations in English. It offers practical advice and help in the mechanics of producing effective and attractive reports and presentations.

The Generation by Holly Cave

Published 2015 by Blinky's Planet Publishing
A speculative fiction book around the theme of identity & genetics. 
***Shortlisted for the 2015 Mumsnet and Janklow & Nesbit novel award.*** 
London, 2052. There’s an ID tag embedded in the flesh of your neck. Your every move is tracked. Your genes tell the State nearly everything about you. 
Everything you are. 
Everything you were. 
Everything you will be. 
For Freya, Kane, and the rest of this fledgling generation, the battle to break free of their genetic horoscopes will not be without bloodshed.
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A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy
Daniel Clery
Duckworth, 2013
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A gallop through the 60-year history of fusion research, describing scientists' seeming endless struggle to get the energy source of the sun and stars to work on earth. Fusion is clean, green and there is enough fuel around to last millions of years. It could change the world, but it's devilishly hard to get it to work. The journey takes in Argentine dictators, superpower summits, a hijacking, the Yom Kippur War, atom spies, the Red Army, and H-bombs. All with minimal technical language and no equations. 
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Networks: A Very Short Introduction by Michele Catanzaro
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2013
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From ecosystems to Facebook, from the Internet to the global financial market, some of the most important and familiar natural systems and social phenomena are based on a networked structure. It is impossible to understand the spread of an epidemic, a computer virus, large-scale blackouts, or massive extinctions without taking into account the network structure that underlies all these phenomena.
In this Very Short Introduction, Guido Caldarelli and Michele Catanzaro discuss the nature and variety of networks, using everyday examples from society, technology, nature, and history to explain and understand the science of network theory. They show the ubiquitous role of networks; how networks self-organize; why the rich get richer; and how networks can spontaneously collapse. They conclude by highlighting how the findings of complex network theory have very wide and important applications in genetics, ecology, communications, economics, and sociology. 
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Holly Cave  
Really Really Big Questions About Science
Kingfisher Books Ltd
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Aimed at 8-12 year-olds.
Prepare to exercise your mind as you investigate big ideas in this philosophical question and answer series. Cool illustrations, brainteasers, and quirky quotations add to the simple and fun question-and-answer format, introducing readers to life's important questions. What's in empty space if it's not empty? What makes something funny? Do dolphins gossip? And what came first: the chicken or the egg? 
Get the answers to these questions and more in the fifth installment of the "Really, Really, Big Questions" series. 

Publisher: Elliott & Thompson, 2012

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Did your mother remind you to take off your coat when inside or you won't 'feel the benefit' when you leave? Have you ever been informed that what you need to cool down is a nice cup of tea? And are you bored of being told that you have to let that red wine breathe first to improve its taste? If so then 'Deceived Wisdom' is the book for you. Organised into easy-to-read standalone sections, it looks at the facts we all think we know and examines why we don't know them at all. David Bradley's clear and witty writing examines the science behind the statements to reveal the truth behind many popular myths.


Francis Wheen: “Judging by the sampler, it’s my dream book. I may well have to order multiple copies as Christmas presents.

John Emsley: “I really enjoyed the book and indeed read it all within a day. It really was unputtabledown as they say.”

Kris Dyer; “I loved the book, it’s brilliant. Funny, insightful, entertaining, readable – everything a book should be.”

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