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Vol. 4 No 1 Spring 2013 ( Full text PDF)
Vol. 3 No 1 Fall 2011 ( Full text PDF)
Vol. 3 No 2 Spring 2012 ( Full text PDF)
Vol. 3 No 1 Fall 2011 ( Full text PDF)
Vol. 2 No 1. Spring 2010 ( Full text PDF)
Vol. 1 No 1. Fall 2008 ( Full text PDF)
UIC bioengineering student journal (Online): ISSN 2329-5341
UIC bioengineering student journal (Print): ISSN 2329-5333
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UBSJ Editors’ Book of the Month Club
October 2013: Song of the Dodo
What is evolution? If you answered "survival of the fittest," you're not wrong, but there are many more factors involved. Studying islands is one of the best ways to learn about evolution, and island biogeography is the science of understanding what plants and animals exist on which islands, why, and why not in other areas. The entire planet can be thought of as a group of islands - from the obvious ones, like Madagascar, to the more discreet ones, like a forest preserve surrounded by skyscrapers. Thus, studying the ecology of islands is the most efficient way to learn how life evolves in all corners of the planet. In Quammen's highly rated book The Song of the Dodo, learn how the idea of evolution began (and why Charles Darwin shouldn't get all the credit), how islands can cause some species to go extinct and others to multiply exponentially, and become more well-versed in natural history in general. Full of examples of creatures that sound like they came from a sci-fi movie, this book can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the world around them.
- Brynne Nicolsen, Editor
UIC Bioengineering Student Journal
(Photo source: tahitiexpeditions.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ed4e7a09970b0134852a5ef1970c-800wi)
September 2013: The Selfish Gene
Having already celebrated its 30th anniversary, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins remains one of the most potent and controversial books in print today. In his seminal publishing, Sir Richard Dawkins explores the realm of evolution from the gene’s perspective. Originally published in 1976, this book employs plain language to describe the plight of the gene and its desire for selfpreservation. It follows that the gene should “act” preferentially towards similar genes and thus, through selfishness, become altruistic, ultimately working towards a stability regime for the gene. It is this notion that the gene would behave to further its own duplication rather than that of the whole organism which drives the central theme of the book. Often heralded as a masterpiece, The Selfish Gene weaves a tale of logic and perspective that is as insightful today as it was 37 years ago.
June 2013: Genome: An Autobiography Of A Species in 23 Chapters
Written just a few years before the Human Genome Project was completed, Genome takes the reader through an informal and yet informative journey through major genetic landmarks on each of the 23 human chromosomes. Ridley shares information about gene evolution, theories of gene competition and genetic implications for disease. Starting with the origins of life and continuing to modern day genetic screening, the book even covers the topic of genetic determinism and free will.
May 2013: Cutting for Stone
Verghese's novel is a fictional emotional journey into the lives of those touched by both poverty and medicine, and follows the story of the children of Thomas Stone, an expatriate surgeon, and the Carmelite nun that was his assistant. Marion Stone and his twin brother Shiva were separated at birth after being born conjoined, but remain mentally and emotionally entwined throughout their lives. Their search for their father and pursuit of the medical profession both deeply connects them and separates them at the same time.
April 2013: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee, an Indian-born American physician and oncologist, gives a riveting comprehensive biography of the history of cancer and how our treatment of that vast umbrella of diseases has been propelled by our ever-evolving knowledge. From the writings of Egyptian physician Imhotep, to the evolution of breast cancer related surgery, to attempting to determine when how much chemotherapy is too much, Mukherjee's book explains the events in the long progression of gradual understanding of what cancer is, how it is possibly caused, and how to treat it.
March 2013: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
cells are named after Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer born in 1920. Her cells became one of most important tools for the development of early cell culture, for the initial development of vaccines including the polio vaccine, and for many other critical uses in medicine. Billions of her tenacious cells have been distributed freely, bought and sold, and experimented on, but not only was Henrietta not acknowledged for her contribution until recently, but the samples were taken without her knowledge and without any benefit to her family. This story chronicles the history of He La cells, Henrietta Lacks' life, and some of the tougher ethical questions involved in biomedical research.