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Among the contributors: Richard Preston examines the contentious business of decoding the human genome. Malcolm Gladwell follows investigators who aim to revolutionize birth control. Tracy Kidder profiles a modern Dr. Schweitzer. Alan Lightman laments what was lost in his transformation from astrophysicist to fiction writer. Natalie Angier makes some surprising discoveries about gender in mandrill society. Stephen Jay Gould investigates the strange contrast between the 1530 poem by a physician that gave us the name for syphilis and the poetry that can be found in the map of the pathogen's genome. Legendary physicist John Archibald Wheeler celebrates the mysteries of quantum mechanics, which still perplex a century after its discovery. And John Updike contributes a witty verse musing on a biological theme.
For anyone who wants to journey to science's frontiers, understand more fully its ever-expanding role in our lives, or simply enjoy the thrill of powerful writing on fascinating topics, "The Best American Science Writing 2001 is indispensable.
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