Archive for September, 2011

Popular Biotechnology Books: Follow the Current Trends

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Author: Sherry Helms

Are you following the modern trends in the age- old subjects like biology? Modern trends mean applying engineering, technology, genetics and medicine in the study of biology. The whole trend is called bio- technology, giving birth to bio- products or commercial products that are of specific use like manufacturing purposes.

But what are the windows through which you can bring on some more light to study biotechnology? As usual the books are always the most helpful companions in our knowledge- building process on any field. But among so many books which books are going to help the students and scholars the most?

Here are the most required books in applications of biotechnology:

1. Handbook of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: This handbook is for scholars who are working on pharmaceuticals and applications of biotechnology in discovering and producing drugs. The book written by experienced professionals gives an overview of how to apply biotechnology in drug development process. This book will be of help to various genres of scholars like researchers, molecular biologists, cell biologists and also biochemists. The entire biotech industry gets much assistance from this book’s approach towards the extensive applications, regulations and validation methods.

2. Molecular Biotechnology: This book (running its fourth edition) is continuously updated and revised to follow the day to day developments in biotechnology with almost 500 illustrations of the key concepts. The book deals extensively with how the scientific principles apply “recombinant DNA technology” in industrial, agricultural, pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. The updated book has special chapters on the most current trends like cloning, gene therapy and genetic engineering. This book is specially authored for students featuring end of chapter review questions to assess their gained knowledge.

3. Fundamental Laboratory Approaches: This is a laboratory textbook for students and scientists in biochemistry and biotechnology.  This book trains students how to approach research problems and conduct and evaluate scientific research. There is also a unique chapter on using the web for your research along with a website that supports the book. Have fun and enjoy your modern research work and experiments.

4. Calculations for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: This is the most perfect laboratory assistant for biotechnology students and technicians. There all basic scientific notations, explanations of key concepts and theories for each type of calculation and the recent applications of the procedures in the research laboratories. In the new edition there is an updated coverage of mathematics to measure gene expression and more sample problems for readers. The easy to follow format will surely solve your most frequently faced problems in gene discovery and analysis.

5. Advanced Technologies in Biopharmaceutical Processing: This book describes how advanced biological processes like modification of somatic and embryonic cells are applied to the production of biopharmaceuticals. These advanced technologies produce hormones, modified proteins etc. This book is considered as one of the most user- friendly one ranging from large- scale animal cell bioreactors to patient- customized products.

So just follow the trends and bring a revolution in the life sciences industry. Biotechnology will help you a lot to fulfill your dreams.

I Love Speculative Fiction

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Author: Karen Kincy

Let’s speculate about speculative fiction. Do you dream of unicorns, swoon at vampires, drool over werewolves? Imagine yourself sitting at the helm of a starship, commanding your crew to shoot down alien drones, or living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, slogging through hordes of zombies with a trusty shotgun.

I’m guilty of all of the above.

I’m addicted to speculative fiction. Who wouldn’t be? We all played make-believe when we were kids, right? Let’s pretend we’re older, we’re rich, and we’re riding in a limousine. And let’s not just stick with ordinary fantasies. I want to be a dragon. You can be the pirate, and I’m going to try to steal all your gold. We love to imagine realistic stories, ones that could actually happen to each of us, but we also adore the fantastical.

Here’s the full disclosure: I’m a paranormal young adult author myself—yes, I’m a young adult, though I’m not paranormal. Joking aside, my debut novel, Other (Flux), came out last year. Other is about a half-pooka shapeshifter girl, Gwen, who must catch a serial killer hunting people like her before she’s next.

My second novel, Bloodborn (Flux) came out on September 8 of this year. Bloodborn follows Brock, a teen guy who gets bitten by a werewolf and becomes the very thing he has always hated, in an atmosphere of often extreme prejudice and danger.

We have all felt like Brock: the outcast, the stranger, the one with the secret. It can be both thrilling and enlightening to see through the eyes of someone who’s genuinely a monster—i.e., a werewolf. My theory? The unreal acts as a metaphor for the real, amplifying the mundane into the magical. Bloodborn allows us to pretend we’ve been betrayed by our own beliefs, we’re a werewolf, and we’re going to do something about it. In Other, too, let us imagine we have greater powers—shapeshifting—but we have been punished for them.

Until now, in this world, in this story, we catch the killer. We get to be the hero.

As the author, I will confess to sweaty palms and a pounding heart while writing scenes where Brock battles a pack of wolves or Gwen stumbles upon yet another dead body. I strive for my words to convey the excitement I felt while writing these books, and also the sense of speculation that makes speculative fiction so imaginative—and so fun. Let’s play pretend.

Deadly Senses

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Author: Julie Chibbaro

My novel, Deadly, is about an epidemic that took place 100 years ago, which can seem like forever ago, especially if you write for teens.  How on earth was I going to make this medical mystery real for my readers?

In the process of writing, I realized that the most important thing to remember was:  Make the reader experience the time period, then she can really live it!

Deadly is one girl’s journal of her (and the Dept. of Health’s) hunt for the cause of this typhoid fever epidemic in NYC, which ultimately leads them to the killer Typhoid Mary.  I used Prudence’s diary to help me bring the history and the science to life.

To make it more vivid, I relied on the five senses to help me paint a living, breathing picture.

Smell:  What was the smell of life in NYC around 1906?  Horses dominated the streets, their manure piled high before cleaners could remove it.  Can you smell it now?

Sounds:  What did the streets sound like?  An organ grinder playing right outside the window, the sounds of new inventions – steam-engine car, 20-pound telephone.

Look:  What did girls look like?  Prudence struggles with The Look – Gibson Girls with their feminine ideal, soft hair piled high, waists cinched tight.

Taste:  What was the taste of frustration?  A girl who wants to be a scientist in a room ful of boys with microscopes.  Desire tastes like metal to her.

Feel:  What does Mr. Soper feel like?  Prudence falls madly in love with her boss, the head epidemiologist Mr. George Soper, who’s as handsome as the most gorgeous explorer of her day, Mr. Peary.  When she nears him, she can feel the rough tweed of his coat; when she kisses him, the edge of his moustache.

The senses can bring any text to life, but they’re especially important in a historical work.  I hope, when reading Deadly, you can live this history, and imagine yourself fully involved in the hunt for a dangerous killer.

Smells like Teen Spirit

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Author: Janet Fox

I love writing for teens. Partly that’s because I’m still frozen in those middle teen years (sometimes when I look in the mirror I’m shocked), and partly that’s because teens are such a challenging audience. Yearning, needy, searching for self, searching for acceptance, pulling away from family, making and breaking friendships, defining goals, first love, first loss…the teen years are exhausting and exhilarating.

So it’s surprising to realize that the young adult (YA) genre is only a few decades old. Not until Judy Blume (Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret) introduced discussion on previously taboo topics relevant to teens, did booksellers begin to pull teen books out of the “children’s book” section (what self-respecting teen would shop for a book for “children”?) Today the teen section is vast and glorious and even sports sub-categories like “paranormal”.

And what are teens reaching for when they get to those shelves? Everything. Yes, paranormal (vampires, werewolves, witches, angels) is still hot, but romance, mystery, and stories about difficult topics (sexuality, abuse, suicide, bullying) are also popular – and important. My friends in the industry tell me that historical fiction is experiencing a come-back, which is dear to my heart as my YA novels (Faithful, Forgiven) are historical fiction, and I think historical fiction writers can and should craft parallels between the past and the present that resonate with readers.

A great YA novel must strike a balance between a driving plot and a driven character. But I believe that strong characterization holds the key to the teen heart. Fundamental to all teens is their search for identity, and my readers tell me that they see themselves in my characters, which pleases me no end. Readers can identify their own strengths (and weaknesses) when they find them in Maggie or Kula or Jo on the page. They can model behaviors and outcomes without fear or threat. They can see how choices lead to consequences without having mom and dad tell them so. They can experience and learn yet never leave the safety of their room.

I spend a great deal of time crafting my teen characters. I write pages of diary notes, and ask them questions. I try to picture what they might hide in the bottom drawer of their dressers. I’ve created character scrapbooks and found pictures of my characters in old books. I try to befriend my characters, make them my allies, and make them a part of my life in the hope that they will become a part of my readers’ lives, too.

Thank you, Nirvana and Kurt, for so aptly summing up the teen sensibility. My job as a novelist of teen books is to craft my characters as richly as possible, so that my readers can “smell” their spirit.

Best Web Designing Books: Learn and Progress

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Author: Sherry Helms

Are you interested in designing your own website? Or are you interested in improving your skills in web designing? Whatever is your choice, there are many things you can do and go through many methods to have a good command over the skills of web designing.

Along with other methods there are always books and magazines and blogs that give you all valuable and useful information on the field. They help the beginners as well as motivate the professionals by keeping them updated with new trends.

Here is a list of five most useful books for you that no web designer should miss out:

1. Don’t Make Me Think:  This book by Steve Krug has become a bible for a generation of web developers and graphic designers that are looking for the right way to build websites. To ensure that your site provides the best and easiest experience for your website visitors, you need this book the most that guides you on the dos and don’ts of web designing. Steve Krug explains every necessary point in a very entertaining style. This second edition offers three more useful chapters, a new preface and an updated recommended reading.

The main ideas and concepts that are addressed over here are navigation systems, page layout, visual basics, text lengths etc. This book is what we call “usability classic”. This book with all its illustrations, screenshots and diagrams, is highly recommended for anyone who is dreaming to make it big in the web industry.

2. Designing with Web Standards: Jeffrey Zeldman, the designer, web standards rider and bestselling author revisits his own classic, updating it in collaboration with Ethan Marcotte. The standards- based designs are always changing and updating. The author covers all the improvements and challenges of the changes in the industry. This book is the ultimate book to help your website reach more users, load faster and the designing remains cost effective and manageable.

This book is a good read for those who wish to change their websites overall and make them less time-consuming and easier to manage. Written in a very entertaining and witty style this one is quite an easy read and an excellent book for the web users and designers.

3. Bulletproof Web Design: A successful website has some key components like “flexibility, readability and user control”. Dan Cederholm, the web designer and author, outlines some standard based strategies to increase the websites’ adaptability to variety of situations, reaching more audience. Each chapter starts with an example of unbulletproof site employing traditional HTML. Then the author decodes them using XHTML and CSS to explain how they increase the accessibility of the websites.

This book is highly recommended for its practical examples. Read it. Live it.

4. The Zen of CSS Design: The CSS Zen Garden created by author Dave Shea in 2003 already has grown some amazing 150 designs using special CSS skills from all over the world and has set the high- quality standard of web designing. In this book 36 most inspiring designs among them are selected to inspire all for a “visual enlightenment” on the web.

This is a book of art, on the aesthetic beauty of designing. This is a perfect home tutorial for you- a very unique, instructional and inspirational book for an advanced web designing experience.

5. Transcending CSS: In this highly challenging world to pace up with the fast paced work culture is really very tough and requires enough experience. In this book you will learn how to implement advanced designs, how to build prototypes, use grids effectively, and new coding techniques. This book teaches you to build a more artistic, usable and accessible site using transcendent CSS. It includes numerous examples of world-class Web sites, photography, and other inspirations that give designers ideas for visualizing their code.

The book is well written by a highly knowledgeable designer Andy Clarke in a well structured, well paced and very attractive way. This is a great read and a must read.

All these reading materials will not only guide you but also inspire you with the modern web design concepts. Make your life more creative and interesting.

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