Inside Science Reviews

Infectious Disease Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-177-4 / eBook: 978-1-60152-317-4
Biotech Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-176-7 / eBook: 978-1-60152-316-7
VOYA, December 1, 2012

The Inside Science series provides glimpses of scientific research in various areas and helps students develop an understanding of scientific research. While these two volumes focus on biotechnology and infectious disease, other volumes in the series focus on climate, space, renewable energy, and vaccines. The lively narrative style, filled with anecdotes, presents dynamic stories that will hold a student’s interest. A chronology of important events illustrates milestones in research, from the seventeenth-century discovery of microbes to the 2011 development of the antibiotic Fidaxomicin in Infectious Disease Research, while the 1953 discovery of DNA to the 2010 creation of the first synthetic organism bookend the chronology for Biotech Research. Both books conclude with thoughts about future impacts of research that include spider silk from goat’s milk, laboratory-created steaks, and new vaccines. Infectious Disease includes research on sleeping sickness and Guinea worm disease, as well as more familiar diseases. Biotech Research presents successes in food production, medicine, and industry. The episode of DNA, the “big bang” of biotech research, is especially well written. These two volumes are “must haves” for all levels of youth, even if you have extensive resources for the sciences.
—Marilyn Brien.

Infectious Disease Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-177-4 / eBook: 978-1-60152-317-4
Biotech Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-176-7 / eBook: 978-1-60152-316-7
School Library Journal, Febrary 2012

Gr 6-8 This is a general overview of not just infectious diseases, but also of related research such as the refinement of the microscope in 1670, the inception of vaccines in 1796, and the seminal formulation of various medical theories. Allman discusses infectious disease in three distinct areas: identification and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Highlighting the work of individual scientists throughout history, such as the legacy of World Health Organization's Carlo Urbani, who died in 2003 as a direct result of treating patients infected with SARS influenza, the book heralds the ongoing research of many notable scientists past and present. The author remains unbiased, utilizing a journalistic writing style coupled with vivid scientific photos in order to elucidate principles of microbiology. A time line spanning six centuries earmarks significant advances and events while color-coded text boxes highlight terms (in gold) and supplemental information (in blue). Modules in biology, health, current events, and social studies can be feasibly built around this informative source of core reading material.

Biotech Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-176-7 eBook: 978-1-60152-316-7
Booklist, December 1, 2011

With a wide scope and dense detail, this title in the Inside Science series is an excellent choice for classroom discussion about controversial issues. Can science resolve the global hunger crisis by using biotechnology to produce more food while preserving the earth's natural resources? Genetic engineering of corn can increase the nutritional value and reduce the need for pesticides, but is there a risk? Should an embryo that shows a genetic predisposition to defects be terminated? And what about research into future technology, such as fuel to replace gasoline and lower greenhouse gases? Not everyone will agree with the statements, of course, but the disagreements will fuel classroom exploration of ongoing debates, from nature versus nurture to genetic manipulation.

Climate Change Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-128-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-201-6
Gene Therapy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-108-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-202-3
Renewable Energy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-129-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-203-0
Space Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-111-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-204-7
Stem Cell Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-130-9 / eBook: 978-1-60152-205-4
Vaccine Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-131-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-206-1
Library Media Connection, March 1, 2011

The goal of this series is to help students comprehend the work that goes into scientific research and how this work leads to new applications and even future scientific advances.  These books are about “Research,” not just the scientific concepts.  Beginning with a timeline of the important events in each area of research, these books use clear and visual narratives to educate the readers about the cutting edge research.  Well-chosen anecdotes illuminate the ethical and political issues in pursuing deeper scientific study and medical trials.  Embedded key word definitions allow the student to easily identify the main issues.  These books show what we learned about each issue, and more importantly, how we learned it.  Though written by various authors, there is a high level of continuity between titles. Each book includes full-color photos and illustrations, related organizations, source notes, and further resources. This series would be a good addition to any library. Glossary. Table of Contents. Index.

Renewable Energy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-129-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-203-0
VOYA, February 1, 2011

Renewable Energy Research begins with a description of the investment we are making in our future when employing renewable energy. It continues with descriptions of possible avenues to explore, such as wind, water, light, geothermal energy, biodiesel, biomass and biofuels, and hydrogen fuel cells. This unique series covers a variety of current research topics and is aimed at students interested in obtaining a sound foundation of the subject. The text leads the reader through the research process, beginning with an excellent chronology. Each book is similarly laid out, with a solid introduction followed by five concise chapters with clear introductions, anecdotal evidence, and photographic documentation. Important current facts and research are in blue highlighted sections, and new words are introduced and described in yellow sections. Each book also includes a link to On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, a free downloadable book from the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. These are encouraging books for the young science beginner and will provide a good basis for topic discussions.
—Ava Ehde

Stem Cell Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-130-9 / eBook: 978-1-60152-205-4
VOYA, February 1, 2011

Stem Cell Research covers the potentialities of stem cell therapy in concise and well-written chapters. The mysteries of stem cells are fully explained, as well as the more recent research with embryos and bone marrow. Therapeutic cloning by altering the DNA of stem cells is described, and finally, new advancements and challenges are investigated. This unique series covers a variety of current research topics and is aimed at students interested in obtaining a sound foundation of the subject. The text leads the reader through the research process, beginning with an excellent chronology. Each book is similarly laid out, with a solid introduction followed by five concise chapters with clear introductions, anecdotal evidence, and photographic documentation. Important current facts and research are in blue highlighted sections, and new words are introduced and described in yellow sections. Each book also includes a link to On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, a free downloadable book from the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. These are encouraging books for the young science beginner and will provide a good basis for topic discussions.
—Ava Ehde

Vaccine Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-131-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-206-1
VOYA, February 1, 2011

Vaccine Research breaks down the subject into manageable chapters, explaining what a vaccine is and how it works and discussing viruses and bacteria, as well as what the future holds for vaccines. The impact of the recent H1N1 pandemic on the world, including developing countries with cost and distribution problems, provides the entrée into the topic. The testing of vaccines on animals and humans, types of vaccines, clinical trials, and the future of vaccines are also explored. This unique series covers a variety of current research topics and is aimed at students interested in obtaining a sound foundation of the subject. The text leads the reader through the research process, beginning with an excellent chronology. Each book is similarly laid out, with a solid introduction followed by five concise chapters with clear introductions, anecdotal evidence, and photographic documentation. Important current facts and research are in blue highlighted sections, and new words are introduced and described in yellow sections. Each book also includes a link to On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, a free downloadable book from the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. These are encouraging books for the young science beginner and will provide a good basis for topic discussions.
—Ava Ehde

Vaccine Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-131-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-206-1
Climate Change Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-128-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-201-6
Renewable Energy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-129-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-203-0
Gene Therapy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-108-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-202-3
Stem Cell Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-130-9 / eBook: 978-1-60152-205-4
Space Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-111-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-204-7
School Library Journal, Series Made Simple Supplement, November, 2010

This series offers the necessary information for stellar reports. Politics, debates, and ethical concerns are briefly and fairly mentioned, but the books concentrate on consistent, documented, and well-balanced scientific coverage. The human stories sprinkled throughout will help kids identify with both scientists and patients. Renewable Energy Research includes the story of a British student who invented solar-powered refrigerators, which will drive home to readers the point that the future is in their hands.

Gene Therapy Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-108-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-202-3
Booklist, October 1, 2010

Opening with an account of successful gene therapy for a rare eye disease, this introduction to the research goes on to speculate about future applications for other inherited diseases. Beginning with basic definitions of such terms as gene, human genome, and DNA, the well-organized narrative explains the impact of viruses, drugs, cloning, and stem cells on gene therapy and describes recent research, including failures as well as successes. The well-balanced coverage is heavy on text (though the typeface is quite easy to read) and includes concerns, fears, and ethical issues related to cloning, stem cell, and embryonic research. The photographs and diagrams, though a bit sparse, are well captioned. A time line and excellent back matter, including targeted facts and plenty of Web sites, make this Inside Science entry a good choice for school assignments.
—Linda Perkins

Space Research: ISBN 978-1-60152-111-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-204-7
Booklist, December 1, 2010

With titles like Stem Cell Research and Climate Change Research (both 2010), the Inside Science series actively courts controversial subjects. As the books' introduction states, the series "provides students with a sense of the painstaking work that goes into scientific research," thereby giving nascent naysayers pause. And it's a goal well accomplished: Parks piles on the research, digging deep into interstellar study, programs that reach into space, and what it all means to the common person, never shying away from detail and onerous proper nouns (see: "Lyman-Alpha space blobs"). A time line of important events kicks it all off, followed by modern-leaning chapters on research (space weather, asteroids), probes (from the Mars Rover to the comet-puncturing Deep Impact), the collaborative efforts of space stations, telescopes, and future directions in the field. As is always the case with the publisher, the color layout features plenty of photos, boxes, and charts, while Parks delivers a surprisingly spry text. Slim but packed, this is ideal for middle or high school reports.
—Daniel Kraus