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Discoveries and Inventions that have Shaped the World

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Birdmen : the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the battle to control the skies
by 1947- Goldstone Details
Explores the life-risking rivalry between the Wright Brothers and machinist Glenn Hammond Curtiss, assessing how their patent war shaped early aviation and ultimately cost one of the men his life.
Countdown to Zero Day : Stuxnet and the launch of the world's first digital weapon
by Kim. Zetter Details
"This story of the virus that destroyed Iran's nuclear centrifuges, by top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter, shows that the door has been opened on a new age of warfare--one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb dropped from an airplane"
Cured : how the Berlin patients defeated HIV and forever changed medical science
by 1980- Holt Details
A young molecular biologist at the forefront of HIV research, Nathalia Holt tells the historic, multilayered, and compassionate story of two patients--each known in medical literature as the Berlin Patient--and their young research-minded doctors. These two patients' disparate cures came twelve years apart: the first in 1996 from an experimental cancer drug, the other in 2008 from a bone marrow transplant of cells with a particular genetic mutation. Holt connects the molecular dots of these two cases for the first time, providing insight into one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our generation.
Edison and the rise of innovation
by Leonard. DeGraaf Details
"Edison" presents, in intimate detail, the man who helped engineer the modern world. One of history's most prolific inventors, and perhaps America's first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions. Leonard DeGraaf, archivist for the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, chronicles Edison's life and work, making lively and lavish use of never-before-published primary sources, including Edison's personal and business correspondence, lab notebooks, drawings, and advertising material, along with both historic and modern photographs.
Gentlemen scientists and revolutionaries : the Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment
by 1942- Shachtman Details
Explores the scientific pursuits and discoveries of the Founding Fathers, from George Washington's embrace of an experimental vaccination for smallpox that saved the American army in 1777 to Thomas Paine's many inventions, including the first-ever iron span bridge.
How we got to now : six innovations that made the modern world
by 1968- Johnson Details
A new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. The history of innovation over centuries tracing facets of modern life from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes; from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Seven elements that changed the world : an adventure of ingenuity and discovery
by 1948- Browne Details
Combining history, science, and politics, Seven Elements takes you on a present-day adventure of human passion and innovation. This journey is far from over: we continue to find surprising new uses for these seven elements. In this narrative of discovery, readers will come to understand how titanium pervades modern consumer society, how natural gas is transforming the global energy sector, and how an innovative new form of carbon could be starting a technology revolution.
Tesla : inventor of the electrical age
by W. Bernard. Carlson Details
Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius. Even at the end of his life when he was living in poverty, Tesla still attracted reporters to his annual birthday interview, regaling them with claims that he had invented a particle-beam weapon capable of bringing down enemy aircraft.
The innovators
by Walter. Isaacson Details
"Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet."
The lagoon : how Aristotle invented science
by Armand Marie. Leroi Details
In The Lagoon, acclaimed biologist Armand Marie Leroi recovers Aristotle's science. He revisits Aristotle's writings and the places where he worked. He goes to the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos to see the creatures that Aristotle saw, where he saw them. He explores Aristotle's observations, his deep ideas, his inspired guesses--and the things he got wildly wrong. He shows how Aristotle's science is deeply intertwined with his philosophical system and reveals that he was not only the first biologist, but also one of the greatest.
Updated 11/16/2015

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