By Ian Tattersall, Rob DeSalle
A great bottle of wine will be the spark that evokes a brainstorming consultation. Such used to be the case for Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, scientists who often collaborate on e-book and museum exhibition initiatives. while the dialog grew to become to wine one night, it virtually unavoidably led the two—one a palaeoanthropologist, the opposite a molecular biologist—to start exploring the numerous intersections among technological know-how and wine. This e-book provides their attention-grabbing, freewheeling solutions to the query “What can technology let us know approximately wine?” And vice versa.
Conversational and available to each person, this colorfully illustrated publication embraces virtually each that you can imagine region of the sciences, from microbiology and ecology (for an knowing of what creates this complicated beverage) to body structure and neurobiology (for perception into the consequences of wine at the brain and body). The authors draw on physics, chemistry, biochemistry, evolution, and climatology, and so they extend the dialogue to incorporate insights from anthropology, primatology, entomology, Neolithic archaeology, or even classical background. The ensuing quantity is indispensible for someone who needs to understand wine to its fullest.
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Additional resources for A Natural History of Wine
This lovely molecule is the one we are after in winemaking and 2 5 brewing, but it is only subtly different from the poisonous methanol molecule. What makes the difference is the simple CH group connected to the 3 central carbon. The tiny distinction between the harmful methanol: Stick-and-ball structure of methanol and the benign ethanol: Stick-and-ball structure of ethanol W I N E I S S TA R D U S T 41 makes all the difference between becoming extremely sick (and potentially blind—methanol has a special hatred for the optic nerve) and being pleasantly tipsy.
Even if the alcohol did not save their lives, it might have at least cheered the afflicted flies up: another group of scientists reported in 1977 that male fruit flies deprived of the opportunity to mate showed a stronger preference for ethanol than their more successful counterparts. The key here is quantity. In fruit flies, large quantities of alcohol negate the benefits of small ones, illustrating a common phenomenon known as hormesis, whereby substances that are toxic to animals in large doses can have favorable or agreeable effects in small ones.
The tiny distinction between the harmful methanol: Stick-and-ball structure of methanol and the benign ethanol: Stick-and-ball structure of ethanol W I N E I S S TA R D U S T 41 makes all the difference between becoming extremely sick (and potentially blind—methanol has a special hatred for the optic nerve) and being pleasantly tipsy. Two other kinds of alcohol are important, too, because they are byproducts of fermentation by bacteria and yeast. These are butanol and propanol, molecules produced during fermentation by, respectively, a bacterium named Clostridium acetobutylicum and otherwise innocuous yeasts at high temperatures.
A Natural History of Wine by Ian Tattersall, Rob DeSalle