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James Watson

DNA: The secret of life

James Watson is famous as one of the partnership responsible for the discovery of the structure of DNA, and his book 'The Double Helix' telling the story of that discovery is an international bestseller. In 'DNA: The secret of life' he describes some of the applications that our knowledge of DNA has generated. Its become a vast subject area, and at times I found it difficult to decide how to approach the book - whether each chapter could be read alone or whether they combined into a single thread. However it's well written and maintains the readers interest through its nearly 500 pages. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a readable overview of the current state of genetics.

Many of the areas of modern genetics spawn controversies, and Watson doesn't shy away from giving his point of view on these subjects. This seems to be that we should make the maximum use of the new knowledge which we are gaining, for instance in the development of genetically modified foods and the screening of fetuses for genetic diseases. He also favours the 'nature' side of the 'nature vs nurture' question more than most people. His point of view might seem rather extreme to some people, but it's well argued and deserves to be read by those with opinions on both sides of the arguments.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0375710078
Salesrank: 1123697
Published: 2003 Knopf
Marketplace:New from $19.47:Used from $2.99
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 512 pages  
ISBN: 0099451840
Salesrank: 229390
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2004 Arrow
Amazon price £11.99
Marketplace:New from £7.22:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 464 pages  
ISBN: 0375710078
Salesrank: 2633785
Weight:1.75 lbs
Published: 2004 Knopf
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 45.96:Used from CDN$ 3.78
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Product Description
James Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and author of the international bestseller The Double Helix, tells the story of the amazing molecule since its discovery fifty years ago, following modern genetics from his own Nobel prize-winning work in the fifties to today's Dolly the sheep, designer babies and GM foods. Professor Watson introduces the science of modern genetics, along with its history and its implications, in this magnificent guide to one of the most triumphant achievements of human science.