Pulitzer Prize–winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, a leading cancer physician and researcher, selects the year’s top science and nature writing from journalists who dive into their fields with curiosity and passion, delivering must-read articles from a wide array of fields.
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This is one of the best editions of this line since 2003. This has pieces on how strongly our brains react to swearing, on the man who has invented dozens of psychedelic drugs, on the development of X-ray telescopes, on how little we understand the delicate balances of bacteria in our bodies, on BitTorrent, and on the discovery of "ghost forests" and the geological faults that will probably destroy Seattle. There are difficult pieces on "The Illusion of Gravity" (are three dimensions just a hologram?) and "The Mysteries of Mass."This opening line -- "Anna Nicole Smith's role as a harbinger of the future is not widely acknowledged" -- begins a fascinating exploration of the social and economic impact of the extension of human life spans; the first person to live to 150 probably has already been born.I was particularly intrigued by Chorost's story of the scientific advances that are gradually letting this deaf man hear music again, and the profile of Arthur Aufderheide, paleopathologist, who autopsies mummies.more