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Thieves Deceivers And Killers

Author: William Agosta
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400830831
Size: 72.33 MB
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The tobacco plant synthesizes nicotine to protect itself from herbivores. The female moth broadcasts sex pheromones to attract a mate, while a soldier ant deploys an alarm pheromone to call for help. The carbon dioxide on a mammal's breath beckons hungry ticks and mosquitoes, while a flower's fragrance speaks to the honey bee. Indeed, much of the communication that occurs within and between various species of organisms is done not by sight, sound, or touch, but with chemicals. From mating to parenting, foraging to self-defense, plant and animal activities are accomplished largely by the secretion or exchange of organic chemicals. The fascinating and fast-developing science that encompasses these diverse phenomena is introduced here, by William Agosta, in a series of remarkable stories absolutely accessible to the general reader yet revelatory to chemists and biologists. Among Agosta's characters are the organisms that steal, counterfeit, or interpret the chemical signals of other species for their own ends. We learn of seeds that mimic ant odors to facilitate their own dispersion and flies that follow the scent of truffles to lay their eggs. We read about pit vipers that react in terror when their flicking tongues detect a king snake, and slave-making ants incapable of finding their own food. And we meet ice-age people who ate birch fungus to relieve whipworms and early human hunters who used the urine of wolves to maneuver deer to favorable sites. Agosta also chronicles the rapid development of the applied science that makes use of chemical ecology. As researchers deepen our understanding of the biological world, they are making economically significant discoveries (such as enzymes that remain stable in extreme heat), finding ways to reduce our reliance on manufactured pesticides, identifying new uses for traditional medicines, and developing sophisticated new pharmaceuticals effective in treating malaria and several cancers. On the horizon are antiviral agents derived from the chemical defenses of marine species. From the exploits of flies to the high-stakes effort to cure human disease, Agosta's tour of chemical ecology grants any reader entrance to the invisible realm where chemistry determines life and death.

Threads From The Web Of Life

Author: Stephen Daubert
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
ISBN: 9780826515094
Size: 20.49 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Creative, science-grounded stories about nature for the curious and imaginative of all ages.

The Hidden Power Of Smell

Author: Paul A. Moore
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319156519
Size: 56.84 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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The main purpose of the book is to provide insight into an area that humans often take for granted. There are wonderful and exciting stories of organisms using chemical signals as a basis of a sophisticated communication system. In many instances, chemical signals can provide more detailed and accurate information than any other mode of communication, yet this world is hidden from us because of our focus on visual and auditory signals.​ Although we have a diversity of senses available to us, humans are primarily auditory and visual animals. These stimuli are sent to the more cognitive areas of our brain where they are immediately processed for information. We use sounds to communicate and music to excite or soothe us. Our vision provides us with communication, entertainment, and information about our world. Even though our world is dominated by other stimulus energies, we have chosen, in an evolutionary sense, either auditory or visual signals to carry our most important information. This is not the case for most other organisms. Chemical signals, mediated through the sense of smell and taste, are typically more important and are used more often than other sensory signals. The world of communication using chemicals is an alien world for us. We are unaware of how important chemical signals are to other organisms and we often overlook the influence of chemical signals in our own life. Part of this naïveté about chemical signals is due to our cultural focus on visual and auditory signals, but a larger part of our collective ignorance is the lack of information about chemical communication in both popular and scientific writings. The popular press and popular writings virtually ignore the chemical senses, especially in regard to their role or influence for humans and our human culture. Academic books and textbooks are no better.

Chemical Ecology

Author: Thomas Eisner
Publisher: National Academies
ISBN:
Size: 60.14 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book highlights selected research areas that are contributing to advancement of the field of chemical ecology. Leading experts review the chemistry of insect defense; phyletic dmoninance; social regulation; eavesdropping, alarm, and deceit; and reproduction.

Senior High School Library Catalog

Author: H.W. Wilson Company
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 16.41 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Each vol. is divided into 2 parts 1st-7th ed.: Dictionary catalog and Classified catalog; 8th-9th ed. have 3rd. part: Directory of publishers.