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Susan Aldridge

The Thread of Life

Nowadays any mention of genetic engineering is likely to provoke a noticeable reaction, either in favour or against. In The Thread of Life: The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering, Susan Aldridge gives an easy to read overview of this subject. The book was written over 10 years ago, before the debate became so polarised, and it's interesting to see how Aldridge is essentially in favour of genetic engineering, but still warns about the potential dangers.

The first part of the book looks at DNA - its discovery, its action in the cell, the sequencing of DNA and the role of DNA in evolution.

The second part of the book moves on to genetic engineering, in particular its use in treating human disease and aging. Part 3 looks at the wider uses of biotechnology, such as enzymes in our washing, increasing food yields and using microbes to mop up heavy metals. The final chapter is a short look at the future of ideas in genetics - whether reductionism will win out or complexity will be the order of the day.

The book doesn't go into any topic in great detail, and probably isn't the best book to inform readers of the pros and cons of genetic engineering, but it is very useful for the reader with limited knowledge of genetics who wants to learn about the subject.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 0521465427
Salesrank: 4810844
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 1996 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price $3.53
Marketplace:New from $3.53:Used from $0.98
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 0521465427
Salesrank: 3869061
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 1996 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £61.00
Marketplace:New from £19.63:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 0521465427
Salesrank: 2802487
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 1996 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 105.95
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 9.42:Used from CDN$ 0.01
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
DNA "fingerprinting," genetic engineering of food, genetic screening, gene therapy, the human genome project...there is no shortage of news these days about the genetic revolution. The purpose of this book is to take the interested reader behind the headlines to explore the fascinating world of molecular biology. Eschewing jargon, author Susan Aldridge gives an accessible account of the world of DNA and also explores its present and future applications. In the first part of the book, she explains what DNA is and how it functions within living organisms. In the second part, she explores genetic engineering and its applications to humans--such as gene therapy, genetic screening, and DNA fingerprinting. In the third, the author looks at the wider world of biotechnology and how genetic engineering can be applied to such problems as producing vegetarian cheese or cleaning up the environment. Finally, she explains how knowledge of the structure and function of genes sheds light on evolution and our place in the world. Aldridge has written with a light touch full of historical references; her achievement will make rewarding reading for anyone who reads popular accounts of the life sciences.