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by author "Scientific American" in All Categories
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Understanding Child Development
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
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How exactly do children become the adults they were meant to be? In this audiobook, Understanding Child Development, we investigate this profoundly complicated process from infancy through early childhood (the teenage years will be covered in a separate audiobook). Included in this collection are several seminal studies on infant cognition where researchers found evidence that many of our abilities are “pre-programmed.”
For more than a century, scientists across disciplines have investigated the workings of nature’s most complex organ. Findings from cutting-edge neuroscience are moving us closer to understanding processes like how we make decisions or navigate our environment. In this audiobook, we examine the latest research on cognition, how the brain gives rise to consciousness, and how we can improve mental health.
Creativity was long thought to be a gift from the muses, a special quality of a select minority of people. Fortunately, more recent studies have debunked this belief and have shown promise for techniques to help us all boost our creative potential. Nature gives some people a genetic edge, but nurture has a large role in developing creative genius. In this audiobook, we look at this difficult-to-define quality from all angles: where creativity comes from, lessons we can learn from creative geniuses, and how to cultivate creativity.
One of the biggest discoveries in physics, the quest for the Higgs boson demonstrates the value of a good theory. In July 2012, a Higgs-like particle was found near the energies scientists predicted. Now, armed with better evidence and better questions, the scientific process continues. In this audiobook, we’ve gathered our best reporting to explain that process - the theories, the search, the discovery, and the ongoing questions.
Brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s affect an estimated one in six Americans and are increasing in incidence as the population ages. In this audiobook, we examine these and other conditions involving the damage and loss of neurons, including other forms of dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and multiple sclerosis (MS).
In this installment of the Ask the Experts series, Chemistry, our professors, scientists, and researchers tackle reader questions about the substances that compose all matter, their properties, and how they interact and change. Queries range from elementary questions, such as why some elements change color over a flame, to how chemistry works in everyday life, to how certain substances affect the body and more.
In this audiobook, The Human Odyssey, we explore the evolution of those characteristics that make us human. The first section looks at our family tree and why some branches survived and not others. Swings in climate are emerging as a factor in what traits succeeded and failed; meanwhile, DNA analyses show that Homo sapiens interbred with other human species, which played a key role in our survival.
After smartphones, smart TVs, smart windows, and other smart products on the horizon, smart cities were the next logical step in trying to create a better, brighter, more sustainable, and economically sound future. A relatively new term, smart cities conjures images of a cooperative, wired, prosperous utopia where citizens of all classes achieve a high quality of life. In this audiobook, we look at the qualities needed for future cities to survive and thrive.
Instead of “what if the South won the Civil War?” cosmologists ask, “what if the constants that make up the fundamental building blocks of physics were different?” Physicists argue that any slight change to the laws of physics would mean a disruption in the evolution of the universe - and our existence. With the many factors that had to align for us to exist, it can seem like the laws of physics might seem finely tuned to make our existence possible. Instead of a supernatural or divine explanation, this book explores the possibility is that our universe isn’t the only one.
In The Science of Cancer, we examine what we know and what we’re finding out about this scourge of humankind. We delve into the molecular basis and complex causes of cancer, the arguments for and against screenings, minimizing risk, and several new and targeted therapies, including homing in on stem cells, making use of viruses, and making use of vaccines to jump-start the immune system.
Consciousness is more than mere awareness. It’s how we experience the world, how we turn input into experience. Once the province of philosophy, religion, or perhaps fantasy, neuroscientists have added a scientific voice to the discussion, using available medical technology to explore just what separates so-called “mind” from brain. In this audiobook, we look at what science has to say about one of humankind’s most fundamental, existential mysteries.
During allergy season, sufferers know the drill: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing up a storm. For the unlucky with asthma, symptoms might also include coughing and wheezing. However, asthma is not always caused by allergens like pollen and dust - nonallergenic asthma is brought on by a number of possible environmental or genetic triggers. Then there’s the common cold, which also presents with similar symptoms. So what’s causing your runny nose?
Terrible lizards. That’s what the word dinosaurs means. Yet dinosaurs are not true lizards, and they are not necessarily terrible, either. Paleontologists have overturned many misconceptions, and in Dinosaurs!, we look at what the latest research tells us and what we still have to learn about these endlessly fascinating creatures.
Genetic engineering, which refers to the direct manipulation of DNA, became a reality in the 1970s. In this audiobook, we take a look at how far the field has come, starting with a revolutionary gene-editing tool called CRISPR that’s taking the research world by storm. We then examine how CRISPR and other approaches are being investigated to treat disease, the fantastic-sounding research being done in synthetic biology, controversial efforts in modifying crops and saving species, as well as the numerous ethical issues raised in these areas.
Autism is one of three diagnoses that the DSM-5 includes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While our understanding of this condition has grown exponentially, research has been fraught with controversy. Autism appears to be on the rise, depending on how you define it, and its causes more complex than imagined.
The onset of cold weather brings out the boots, coats, gloves - and the stoplight-red “Flu Shots Available Here” signs in drugstore windows. For many scientists and public health specialists alike, flu season has become a little like Russian Roulette. The likelihood of a deadly pandemic outbreak of influenza is not far from reality considering the nature of some of the different viral strains. In this book, we delve into the science of the flu, starting with past pandemics and what we can learn from them.
The second title in our series - Astronomy - looks skyward and explains a variety of universal phenomena and theories. Are you curious about how planets acquire rings or what creates those gorgeous spiral arms around galaxies? Or maybe you want to know why the Big Bang didn’t collapse into a black hole. Astrophysicists, professors, and scientists tackle questions about stars, planets, asteroids, galaxies, and nebulae, the expanding universe as well as the oddities - black holes, wormholes, and dark matter.
We harbor roughly the same number of microbes as we have cells. This complex ecosystem is crucial to our health, affecting many processes including immunity, child development, and bone density regulation. Research in this area has exploded, and in this audiobook, we highlight some of the most exciting work on how the microbiome develops, its influence on brain and behavior, and implications in both contributing to and treating various disorders.
Addiction is costly on many levels to the individuals affected, their families, and society as a whole, but science may soon be able to offer treatment options to make the road to recovery a little smoother. First, we investigate why and how people succumb to a veritable prison of the mind as sections one and two delve respectively into the psychology and the neurochemistry behind addiction. Subsequent sections break out addictive substances individually: recreational drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. Finally, section seven examines new avenues for overcoming addiction.
The sense of position and movement is often called the sixth sense; the brain’s connection to the immune system might be a seventh. In this audiobook, we examine the diverse functions of the brain beyond the five senses, including the glymphatic system for maintaining brain health, the processes behind intuition, and new research raising questions about “brain death.”