The Biology Bytes blog was inspired by the publication of two separate books by the same author. If you enjoy reading about the fascinating critters and plants that are all around us, or the latest developments in stem cell research or modern medicine in general, or have simply been enjoying reading the wide variety of articles on this bi-weekly blog, then you will likely enjoy the Biology Bytes books.
The books come in two “flavors.” One book, Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Animals Both Commonplace and Bizarre, investigates the amazing diversity of animals and plants on our planet, while the other book, Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Stem Cells and Modern Medicine, explores cutting-edge stem cell research and other developments in the field of modern medicine. To give you an idea of what to expect in the books, below is a list of some of the topics covered in each, along with relevant articles that have shown up on the Biology Bytes blog.
Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Animals Both Commonplace and Bizarre:
- Unusual creatures: In this book, you will find discussions about a number of unusual creatures, including silkworms, archaea, marsupials, viruses, and much more. Similarly, the Biology Bytes blog has featured articles on the olinguito (a South American carnivore), the amazing tardigrade, the mysterious MERS virus, and the fascinating Surinam toad, which hatches eggs on its skin.
- Pets: This book also explores the biology and history of several different pets, from common ones, such as cats and betta fish, to exotics, like parrots and various insects. The Biology Bytes blog has also investigated different companion critters, including dogs and recent discoveries about their domestication, as well as rare pets, like Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Various short-lived educational pets for burgeoning biologists have also been explored, including ant farms, Triops, praying mantises, and much more, such as pillbugs and sowbugs.
- Everyday critters: This book also makes sure not to forget about the many little creatures that are all around us but often get overlooked, such as snails and butterflies. Similarly, the Biology Bytes blog has explored the common assassin bugs, the mind-controlling Toxoplasma parasite, the amazing 3D metamorphosis of butterflies, the importance of the tiny diatoms, and how blow flies are used to date corpses.
- Our history: This book also delves into our own primate history, which has been explored in the blog by looking at the recently discovered Dmanisi skull, which may change how we classify our own species as a whole.
- Cautionary tales: The impact of our actions on the animals and environment around us is also explored in this book through a series of cautionary tales, including ones focused on the decline of the amphibians, coral reefs, and bats. Along the same lines, the blog has explored increasing numbers of jellyfish, the Asian giant hornets that are terrorizing parts of China, the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the decline of the honey bees.
- Stem cells: Much of this book explores the latest developments in the stem cell field, as well as its likely near future. On the Biology Bytes blog, the many recent breakthroughs using induced pluripotent stem cells and lab-grown meat using stem cells have similarly been explored, as have K-12 science fair project ideas and activities based around exploring stem cell research in the classroom.
- Bioengineering: The idea and reality of bioengineering organs for transplants is discussed in this book. Similarly, the feasibility of using 3D printers to create organs has been investigated on this blog.
- Developments in the Lab: Many recent medical advances made in laboratories are explored in this book, and several have similarly been explored on the blog, including the recent development of three-parent in vitro fertilization, genetically modified microbes, and real applications of gene therapy.
- Better understanding cancer: Many advances in our understanding, and treatment, of cancer have been made in the past few years, and these are discussed in this book. Similarly, a fascinating study on fish with melanoma, and implications for our understanding of cancer, was explored on this blog.
- What you eat: This book lastly explores the history and biology of some common foods, including alcohol and tea. Similarly, the Biology Bytes blog has discussed the implications of too much sugar in our food, and why eating insects is more sustainable (and nutritious) than other “meat” options.
So if you have enjoyed reading the bi-weekly Biology Bytes blog posts, you may want to give the Biology Bytes books a try, or consider making them a gift to your favorite biologist (or biologist-to-be)!