Curious Folks Ask (Preface & Chapter 3): Body Parts

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Pearson Education, Feb 14, 2010 - Education - 24 pages
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This download is a chapter from Curious Folks Ask: 162 Real Answers on Amazing Inventions, Fascinating Products, and Medical Mysteries (ISBN: 0137057385) by Sherry Seethaler. Available in print and digital formats.


Read the following excerpt from the Preface:


Inquiring minds want to know. What’s the big deal about low-carb diets? What causes muscle aches when you get the flu? How did the ancient Egyptians build the Giza Pyramids? Does it matter what brand of gasoline you buy? Could adult stem cells have as much promise as embryonic stem cells? Is a horsepower really the power of one horse? Does chocolate cause acne? What makes glue sticky? How is it possible to design bifocal contact lenses? What causes dandruff?


And sometimes, inquiring minds ask questions that other inquiring minds did not even realize they wanted to know. Why do we get skin cancer from sun-damaged skin when damaged cells are continually sloughing off and being replaced? What causes out-of-body experiences? Is the Star Wars lightsaber possible? Are there beneficial viruses, just as there are beneficial bacteria? Why do some people have second toes that are longer than their big toes? Is increased environmental noise leading to increased violence? With their unwieldy number system, how did the ancient Romans engineer their magnificent buildings?


These are some of the 162 questions compiled in this science Q&A anthology. The questions come from real people who range in age from high schoolers to octogenarians (and probably even younger and older folks too). Some of them are scientists, and others tell me, “I’m not a science person, but I’ve always wanted to know...” What they share is a deep curiosity about the world around them. The questions and answers in Curious Folks Ask can rekindle the natural wonder about science and the world around us that we all shared as children but that frequently gets pushed aside in formal education settings.


To continue reading, download this Preface & Chapter 3. The full book is also available for sale in print and digital formats.


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About the author (2010)

Sherry Seethaler, a science writer and educator at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), works with scientists to communicate their discoveries to the public. Seethaler also writes a weekly column for the San Diego Union-Tribune, answering readers’ questions spanning nearly every imaginable science topic.


She holds a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation examined how students reason about scientific controversy. She designed and taught the innovative course, Teaching Contemporary Scientific Controversies, and helped design UCSD’s California Teach program, which prepares science and math students to teach.


Seethaler is author of Lies, Damned Lies, and Science (FT Press Science, 2009).

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