The Real Science Behind the X-Files: Microbes, Meteorites, and Mutants

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9780684856186: The Real Science Behind the X-Files: Microbes, Meteorites, and Mutants

Could an alien organism really survive a centuries-long trip on a meteor and remain virulent enough to attack a human being? How would a scientist know she was peering at a microbe from another planet? What's the possibility of a genetically mutated monster actually developing?
In a gripping exploration of the facts behind the science fiction that has enthralled millions of X-philes, Anne Simon -- the respected virologist who comes up with the science for many intriguing episodes -- discusses telomeres, cloning, the Hayflick limit, nanotechnology, endosymbionts, lentiviruses, and other strange phenomena that have challenged the intellect and threatened the lives and sanity of America's favorite FBI agents. With Simon's extraordinary gift for explaining complicated, cutting-edge science in a light, accessible style, and her behind-the-scenes commentary on the development of various plot lines, The Real Science Behind the X-Files will appeal to science buffs and X-Files aficionados alike.

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Review:

In The X-Files episode "The Erlenmeyer Flask," FBI agent Dana Scully shows some bacteria to microbiologist Anne Carpenter, who pronounces them extraterrestrial: containing different DNA nucleotides than those found in Earthly organisms. But like the hapless redshirts of Star Trek, scientists who uncover extraterrestrial evidence have shortened life expectancies. Indeed, Carpenter is soon snuffed out in a highly suspicious car crash. But the real scientist on whom she was based, University of Massachusetts virologist Anne Simon, remained as scientific advisor to the popular program: she is the "X-Pert."

In her book, Simon describes the scientific basis of various X-Files episodes, and writes about some of her behind-the-scenes work putting the Scully into Scully. Sometimes it gets a little difficult to keep track of when Simon is describing an episode and when she's talking about cutting-edge science, but that's part of her point: "The life of a research scientist is filled with mysteries as complex as any that appear on The X-Files. We are Scullys." Simon knows that this show, for all its paranormal apparatus, gives a taste of the thrill of real science, enough to be inspiring a new generation to follow in Scully's footsteps. --Mary Ellen Curtin

About the Author:

Anne Simon, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an editor of the international journal Virology. She lives in Bowie, Maryland.

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Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 320 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.5in. x 0.8in.Could an alien organism really survive a centuries-long trip on a meteor and remain virulent enough to attack a human being How would a scientist know she was peering at a microbe from another planet Whats the possibility of a genetically mutated monster actually developing In a gripping exploration of the facts behind the science fiction that has enthralled millions of X-philes, Anne Simon -- the respected virologist who comes up with the science for many intriguing episodes -- discusses telomeres, cloning, the Hayflick limit, nanotechnology, endosymbionts, lentiviruses, and other strange phenomena that have challenged the intellect and threatened the lives and sanity of Americas favorite FBI agents. With Simons extraordinary gift for explaining complicated, cutting-edge science in a light, accessible style, and her behind-the-scenes commentary on the development of various plot lines, The Real Science Behind the X-Files will appeal to science buffs and X-Files aficionados alike. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780684856186

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