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The Thread of Life: The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering (Canto Book)by Susan Aldridge
Synopses & Reviews
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 Aldridge has written with a light touch full of historical references; her achievement will make rewarding reading for anyone who reads popular accounts of the life sciences.
In a delightfully accessible way Susan Aldridge describes the fascinating world of the molecular biology of the gene. She explains how genes, made of DNA, work and what technology based on modifying DNA allows scientists to do. The applications of genetic engineering are diverse and include gene therapy, making animals into drug factories and cleaning up polluted environments! Genetic engineering raises ethical issues, which are also explored in this book. This is essential reading for anyone wanting to know about modern science.
Describes, in a delightfully accessible way, the fascinating world of the molecular biology of the gene.
Susan Aldridge gives an accessible guide to the world of DNA and also explores the applications of genetic engineering in biotechnology. She takes the reader step by step, through the fascinating study of molecular biology. The first part of the book describes DNA and its function within living organisms. The second part explores genetic engineering and its applications to humans - such as gene therapy, genetic screening and DNA fingerprinting. The third part 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. The final part explains how knowledge of the structure and functioning of genes sheds light on evolution and our place in the world. Although easy to read, this book does not avoid the science involved and should be read by anyone who wants to know about DNA and genetic engineering.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -254) and index.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. What Is DNA?: 1. DNA is lifeâ€™s blueprint; 2. DNA in action; 3. A close up of the genome; 4. Where did DNA come from?; Part II. Engineering Genes: 5. Genetic engineering; 6. Creating new life forms; 7. Genes: the human angle; 8. New genes for old; Part III. Biotechnology: 9. The wide world of biotechnology; 10. Plant power; 11. Environmental solutions; Part IV. The Final Frontier?: 12. Beyond DNA; Further reading; Index.
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