By Ian Tattersall, Rob DeSalle
A superb bottle of wine will be the spark that evokes a brainstorming consultation. Such was once the case for Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, scientists who often collaborate on booklet and museum exhibition tasks. 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 commence exploring the numerous intersections among technology and wine. This ebook offers their interesting, freewheeling solutions to the query “What can technology let us know approximately wine?” And vice versa.
Conversational and available to every body, this colorfully illustrated e-book embraces nearly each possible region of the sciences, from microbiology and ecology (for an knowing of what creates this advanced beverage) to body structure and neurobiology (for perception into the results 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 historical past. The ensuing quantity is indispensible for a person who needs to understand wine to its fullest.
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Additional resources for A Natural History of Wine
This interaction is the currency of higher molecular structure, and it is known as a chemical bond. In the case of a lost or gained electron, we have an “ionic bond,” but other kinds of chemical bonds also exist, and are important in combining smaller molecules to form larger and more biologically important structures such as DNA and proteins. W I N E I S S TA R D U S T 36 Fortunately we can simplify at this point because, of the 115 elements in the periodic table, only a few are relevant to the biology of wine.
This is important to biologists because, at the molecular level where fermentation occurs, nature likes shapes. It doesn’t necessarily care what makes up the shapes, taking its cues from the molecules’ external form. So now, with these tools of scale and chemical equations in hand, let’s follow how a carbon atom in a grape is transformed into alcohol. So far it’s been pretty straightforward, but atoms actually bind at different angles to one another, and representing carbon dioxide on a single line does not mean that the bonds made between carbon and oxygen in the physical molecule lie on a 180-degree continuum—a distinction that obviously affects their shape.
They are particularly instructive in a consideration of why human beings like alcohol because they are widely reckoned to be among the closest living relatives of the primates, the zoological group to which our species Homo sapiens belongs. They may not be precisely the same as our ancient ancestors from the beginning of the age of mammals some sixty-five million years ago, but in appearance, body size, and general habits they probably come close. In 2008 German researchers reported the results of an ecological study of pen-tailed tree shrews in a western Malaysian rainforest.
A Natural History of Wine by Ian Tattersall, Rob DeSalle