Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #pharma #IARTG #SNRTG #SciFi #Kindle

5+Vol1+2 (113)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

READER FEEDBACK from a research biologist for Plague of Equals…

“I’ve been meaning to let you know I’ve read your book and enjoyed it very much. Maintained my interest, enjoyed the characters, appreciated the controversy, and was pleased with the conclusion – love the idea of a ‘live long kill young’ virus – very creative – I did not see that coming.”

Plague of Equals is science fiction with the emphasis on SCIENCE. Central to the plot is a worldwide epidemic that has the scientists baffled.

As in the real world, baffled scientists open the door for people with preconceived agendas and ulterior motives to exploit the uncertainty to their own ends.

In this story, the scientists do what scientists always do … they find the truth. The truth is surprising to both scientific and non-scientific readers. Enjoy.

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

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Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #biology #RRBC #Mustread @scifirtg

4+Vol1+2 (109)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

Excerpt from 5-star Amazon review for DARWIN’S PARADOX
An uplifting story for troubled times.

I’m usually a science fiction reader, but the medical thriller angle caught my attention.

Once I started reading I could not stop … Next morning I sat down to read “just one chapter” before starting the day. Finished the book instead.

Loved the characters, the various cultures, the different views on reality and life of each. …characters did not exhibit all the “trite and true” behaviors that make me delete a book from Kindle before finishing it.

While it was a very good medical thriller, it was an even better portrayal of some of the better aspects of humanity. A nice uplifting story for troubled times.

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #pharma #IARTG #SNRTG #SciFi #amazon

3+Vol1+2 (103)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

AMAZON REVIEWS for Plague of Equals

“Once I got into the story, it was fascinating!!! A very good read! Wonderful characters.”

“This is not your ordinary international suspense thriller”.

“It’s got all the stereotypes, but beware of falling into the trap of thinking the stereotypes are valid.”

“[The ending] certainly is surprising, and a welcome relief from the usual thriller ending.”

“The science is pretty interesting, and the writing makes it more so.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #chemistry #SFRTG #bookboost @scifirtg

2+Vol1+2 (102)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

Excerpts from 5-star Amazon review for DARWIN’S PARADOX: I very much enjoyed this near-future science fiction novel [with] its comprehensive worldview.

As the best fiction does, this book works to educate as well as well as to entertain, with true detail about daily life in the novel’s various settings, the process of science, challenges of management,…

There is rich, resonant character development and much curiosity about the nature of the human condition. In its understated way, this novel wonders at the fact that some of the most vibrant humans are nurtured in some of the planet’s toughest environments.

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #clinicaltrials #kindle #IAN1 @iartg

1b+Vol1+2 (101)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

GOODREADS 5-STAR REVIEW FOR PLAGUE OF EQUALS

“Plague of Equals” is a book in the tradition of Wilbur Smith, Leon Uris or James Michener: a big, sprawling adventure tale centered on a specific theme, with an almost Chaucerian cast of characters. The action moves from the jungles of South America to the corridors of power in D.C., weaving together personal stories and medical science into a cautionary tale about both theory and life.

There are a few bumpy moments – places where the action seems unnecessarily interrupted by information about disease or current medical technologies – but overall, it’s a gripping tale with wild exploits and sympathetic every-day heroes that will keep you thinking long after “The End”.

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

Holiday Science Readers’ Sale: US/UK Sale ends December 16 – 50% off #science #scifi #kindle @scifirtg

1a+Shelf-science

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Paperback, Kindle (on sale), and free on KU and KOLL.

Excerpts from 5-star Goodreads review for DARWIN’S PARADOX:

Unlike a lot of science thrillers, this one mostly gets the science right, and the science does not dominate the main theme: that solving critical, worldwide problems can be done by means other than massive government programs.

The disparate characters and cultures are handled well from the perspective of an American reader, we’ll wait and see what the rest of the world thinks. It does point up the benefits of education and the pursuit of science worldwide–it shouldn’t be just for privileged first-world because we’re going to need all the help we can get.

US/UK Kindle Sale ends December 16. Free on KU and KOLL

Evolution of Flight by Bats #Batweek #Science #Kindle

Bat Week 2017

The last in a series of four informative posts about bats in celebration of Bat Week 2017, and the science mystery about how bats might save the world: Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

An important principle of evolution is that evolution does not plan. There is no such thing as a species evolving in a direction that is not superior to the status quo just to be  prepared for some benefit later.

This is important when thinking about flight or any evolutionary change that makes use of several systems (such as the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system), or which requires significant anatomical modifications. Both are true for flight.

1018px-Darwin's_finches_by_Gould

While speciation, based on size and color (canis and felis) or beaks (Darwin’s finches), can be understood by a few, small genetic changes, the evolution of flight is more complex. However, in spite of the complexity, flight has evolved at least four independent times: insects, pterosaurs, bats, and birds.

Homology

Flight requires many changes, including the development of wings and changes to cardiorespiratory systems to support the short-term effort required for aerial takeoff. Now, from the no planning principle, we know that in the millennia before flight is achieved, the intermediate changes must be an improvement at every step of the way. In the case of flight, there are two major theories for an evolutionary path to flight.

Domestic_Pigeon_Flock

The first path to flight (ground up) assumes an animal that lives on the ground and evolves to run faster building up their cardiorespiratory endurance and uses their hands to catch prey expanding the area of their hands. Over time this animal benefits from hopping and gliding and finally true flight. This seems to be a good theory for birds.

Quetzalcoatlus07

The second path to flight (height down) assumes an arboreal animal that lives in the trees and first jumps down on prey, and eventually glides, and finally, develops true flight. This seems to be a good theory for pterosaurs.

In the case of bats, it could have gone either way. There are bats that run along the ground suggesting ground up and those that climb trees suggesting height down. In either case, bats have successfully populated all continents except Antarctica. They represent 20% of all mammal species, second only to rodents.

To learn more about how bats might save people and enjoy an interesting science mystery, check out Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. Paperback and Kindle eBook. Free on KU and KOLL. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

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Could Bats be the Pharmacopoeia of the Future? #BatWeek #Science #Kindle

Bat Week 2017

The third in a series of four informative posts about bats in celebration of Bat Week 2017, and the science mystery about how bats might save the world: Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

People have long considered bats to be a threat; it is time for that to change.

Of the over 5,000 mammal species, about 20% are bats, chiroptera (KIE-ROP-TER-A) to be scientific. There are more bats species than any other order except rodents, and bats inhabit every continent except Antarctica. Bats are everywhere, and they’re nocturnal, and they fly. What could be scarier than 1,000 species of bats flying into your nightmares?

Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus

How about over 3,000 species of viruses? The International Committee of Taxonomy of Viruses has identified over 3,000 virus species. Unfortunately, many viruses that are dangerous to people spend their vacations with bats. The list of viruses hosted by bats is both long and scary: hepacivirusespegivirusesinfluenza A virushantavirusparamyxoviruses, and of course lyssaviruses which include rabies.

 

Besides the viral threat, bats are vampires, as every school child can tell you. NOT! Only 3% of the bat species are vampires, and those are isolated to South and Central America.

Recall the major pandemics (Black Plague, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS)? All caused by viruses. People die from viruses. Bats host viruses. Bats and Rats … maybe we’d be better off if we killed them all?

This has been the myth, legend, and superstition for millennia. With modern science, it’s time to reconsider.

Science is now asking the question, “Why do viruses that infect and kill humans and other mammals exist benignly in bats?” If scientists can answer this question, find what protects the bats, we might be able to prevent future pandemics and even cure the common cold.

Chiroptera differ from other mammals in several ways. First, bats reached their current evolutionary point over 33 million years ago, while other mammals continued to evolve. Felines didn’t even appear until about 25 million years ago, and people, homo sapiens sapiens, didn’t show up until a few hundred thousand years ago.

Bat_in_the_tree_at_Boga_Lake,_Bangladesh

This might explain why bats are better at dealing with viruses. Some scientists suggest that given 30 million years bats had time to evolve better defenses than we could in a few hundred thousand. Bats also had strong evolutionary pressures since they live in large, dense colonies – ideal for spreading viral infections. This is very different from primates which evolved in small isolated groups.

Others suggest that it’s just a numbers game. Given a thousand species of bats, to our one, they had a better chance to get lucky. This is supported by the rodents which have even more species and also host lots of viruses.

The third line of investigation is the high metabolism required for flight. This, combined with the observation that bats don’t seem to get cancer, leads to the hypothesis that their DNA repair mechanisms work faster and better.

This third hypothesis brings up another bat anomaly: not only are they more resistant to viral diseases, but they also live longer than expected. Are these two related? Maybe?

Greyheadedflyingfoxbabies2008canungra

Regardless, the denizens of Chiroptera have antiviral secrets that we need and science is working to find them. Today more scientists study the biology of bats, and more bats are getting their DNA sequenced. Perhaps soon we will live longer and healthier because of those scary, night flying, echolocating bats.

To learn more about how bats might save people and enjoy an interesting science mystery, check out Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. Paperback and Kindle eBook. Free on KU and KOLL. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

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Bat Wings /|\^o^/|\ (#BatWeek #Science #Kindle)

Bat Week 2017

The second in a series of four informative posts about bats in celebration of Bat Week 2017, and the science mystery about how bats might save the world: Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

In mammals, teeth provide quick and easy information as to diet, and an endless source of argument as to whether homo sapiens sapiens (that’s you) are carnivores or herbivores. Of course, the answer to this argument is that we are omnivores.

Tigre_d'Asie_à_robe_blanche

Sharp, pointed teeth indicate a carnivorous diet. In fact, most felines are obligate carnivores, so putting your pet cat on a vegan diet will kill it.

1024px-Crâne_cheval

Flat, grinding teeth indicate a plant-based diet. This horse is a typical herbivore and loves a vegan diet.

1018px-Darwin's_finches_by_Gould

Often examining isolated characteristics can tell a lot about an animal’s environment, diet, and place in the food chain. Darwin famously supported his case for evolution be cataloging the beaks of finches.

1024px-CF-1_flight_test

In the case of bats, wings provide instant information about environment, diet, and prey. Most bats are designed on the model of a jet fighter for maneuverability. They use this to avoid obstacles when flying inside caves or through trees. They also, like fighter jets, use sonar (radar) and agility to track and capture flying targets. These bats have relatively-short wings. The same can be seen in birds that live in forest and jungle environments.

1024px-USAF_Lockheed_C-141C_Starlifter_65-0248

Alternately wings might be long. Relative large wings optimize for distance flying. Fruit bats have long wings appropriate for their stationary targets (fruit) and look more like cargo transports or bombers. Carrion birds like vultures and condors also follow this model.

So short, stubby wings: think jet fighter, and large, long wings think bombers. Evolution is warfare, and the right equipment in the right situation is victorious.

To learn more about bats and enjoy an interesting science mystery, check out Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. Paperback and Kindle eBook. Free on KU and KOLL. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

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Best animal mother. Bats deserve your respect. #BatWeek #Science #Kindle

Bat Week 2017

The first in a series of four informative posts about bats in celebration of Bat Week 2017, and the science mystery where bats save the world: Darwin’s Paradox by J. Oestreicher and D. R. Oestreicher. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

Over twenty percent of all mammal species are of the order Chiroptera, aka Bats. They live everywhere except Antarctica and perform important tasks such control of insects and pollination. Yet people seem to hate them, and for so many reasons.

  1. Their name? Chiroptera (kai-rop-ter-uh) is hard to pronounce. Just like food ingredients that some avoid because they can’t pronounce them, Chiroptera fall prey to this prejudice. How silly is this? Chiroptera means hand-wing. What could be cuter?
  2. Vampire bats? Out of over 1200 species of bats, there are just three species of vampire bats, and they all live in Central and South America. Less than 10% of the world’s population lives anywhere close these bats, and they rarely prey on humans anyway. Forget the vampire thing.
  3. Batman? Isn’t this a plus?
  4. Disease? Every news story about rabies, mentions bats. Even in places without rabies, bats are known as disease carriers. In Australia, famously rabies free, bats harbor Hendra Virus (HeV), Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV), Menangle virus, Tioman virus, and Nipah virus. However, lots of other mammals host zoonotic diseases (remember swine flu and bird flu). The taxoplasmosis risks to pregnant women from cats don’t do any to harm their supremacy in the Internet cute hierarchy.
  5. Nocturnal? Could it be that people just dislike/fear nocturnal animals? That is unless they are cats (cute cats again), or owls, or koalas, or tree frogs, or fireflies, even large cats that would be happy to have you for lunch.

We should all learn to love bats, so for Bat Week, let’s look at bat mothers.

Being a bat mother is a serious challenge. First, consider that a bat mom must fly while she is pregnant. Bat moms don’t take the straightforward way out of this one like birds with their tiny eggs and short gestations, or other mammals with small babies. Bat pups can weigh up to 25% of mom’s weight with a 6-month gestation. Assuming people could fly, imagine flying with a 30-pound near-term fetus. That alone is enough to celebrate bat mothers.

The mother bat normally limits herself to one pup at a time, just once a year. She delays birth until food is abundant to make sure the little bundle of joy has the best. She accomplishes this without help from the males, some of whom have the world-record testicles, up to 8% of body weight as an indication of their priorities. Guys, your turn. Imagine 12-pound balls.

Bat mothers side-track the sperm to save it until the optimum time, or if they do get pregnant, they can suspend the development until the right time. These caring mothers are prepared to give their children the best regardless of what the guys might be thinking.

Greyheadedflyingfoxbabies2008canungra

Once this bat child is born, the mother provides sustenance. How long? It is that flying thing again. Bats can’t fly until they are adults. Mom nurses the little darling until it is adult size, again without any help from those men with the big balls and small brains. (That is a separate story, but science has discovered that testicle size and brain size are inversely correlated).

So, during Bat Week, let’s celebrate bat mothers, most dedicated mothers of the animal world. Next time someone says something bad about bats, let’s defend them as dedicated, loving mothers.

To learn more about bats and enjoy an interesting science mystery, check out Darwin’s Paradox by J. and D. R. Oestreicher. Paperback and Kindle eBook. Free on KU and KOLL. http://amzn.to/2yOvXEy

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