Whether fighting off a hungry predator with an explosive burst of rocket fuel, or tantalizing a potential mate with a provocative perfume, organisms utilize built-in chemistry to go about their business. Animals and plants send each other warning signals and even broadcast calls for help, as well as create protective camouflage, make glue, lay trails, and poison their enemies. Bombardier Beetles and Fever Trees unravels the mystery behind these chemical weapons and communication schemes, providing a provocative study of the dynamic world of interspecies competition. In addition, author William Agosta discloses how we take advantage of many of the chemicals found in nature - from quinine, found in the bark of the fever tree and used to treat malaria, to taxol (from the Pacific yew), which is used in the treatment of breast cancer. This field of chemical ecology affects almost all aspects of life, and this book - the first of its kind - gives a fascinating view of these intense chemical interactions.
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Agosta, a professor at Rockefeller University with a number of publications in the scientific literature to his name, has written a colorful introduction to the chemicals that occur naturally in plants and animals. Classifying these substances as warfare agents, lifestyle components, or message senders, he includes a wide variety of examples for each (e.g., lima bean distress signals, supercooled springtails, and the suicidal germination of witchweed seeds). A secondary theme is Agosta's emphasis on the importance of nature's chemicals to humans in pharmaceutical and other applications. He also briefly touches on ecological and environmental matters that influence the present and future of many of the organisms. With the exception of Latin genus and species names, Agosta uses little biological or chemical terminology; thus, the lay reader should find this book easy to understand. Recommended for general science collections.?Jan Williams, Monsanto Co., St. Louis, Mo.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Many plants and animals rely on the transmission and reception of chemicals to defend and survive: here Agosta examines the chemical interplay between hunters and the hunted in the natural world, presenting lively chapters which examine everything from medicinal plants to how animals use their own version of chemical warfare. -- Midwest Book Review
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Descrizione libro Basic Books, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0201154978
Descrizione libro Perseus Books, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0201154978
Descrizione libro Basic Books, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110201154978