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How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution Paperback – February 23, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0553385786 ISBN-10: 055338578X Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Whether you've dreamed of a future with easy genetic face-lifts and chocolate-flavored broccoli or shivered from nightmares of viral warfare and biologically enhanced Richard Simmons clones, this book will set you straight on the facts behind genetics and cloning—and keep you entertained all the way. Humans, they say, have been practicing genetic engineering for millennia, beginning with early agricultural practices and the domestication of wolves and cattle. But now that scientists have sequenced the human genome, and stem cell research offers potential cures for everything, bioengineers Kurpinski and Johnson want to warn us away from extreme future dystopian scenarios such as eco-collapse and ultraintelligent überclones or a utopian paradise where Money grows on trees. Pigs fly. Your clone may have the same DNA blueprint as you, but it won't be you.... Your younger, stronger, healthier clone probably could defeat you in a stand-up fight, but having read this book, you'll be prepared to outsmart it. Kurpinski and Johnson have written a science book that is irreverent, timely, accessible, and, best of all, compulsively readable.(Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Two bioengineers in the San Francisco Bay Area provide advice, laced with humor, about what to do if cloning becomes a reality and you need to decide what to do with the new you, if you, or some thief of your genome, decide to make one. First Kurpinski and Johnson tell about the DNA stuff the cloner needs to know, and then they explain the basic procedure of cloning. Once nuclear transfer and cellular multiplication arrive at a complete human organism, why did you play God? ask the authors in effect, and not without a little mockery of human vanity and selfishness. To harvest organs? To have a look-alike buddy? To reengineer Homo sapiens? Being essentially human, clones will have their own ideas about their lives that the authors, with droll excursions into popular entertainment’s depictions of clones, limn so that their readers may prepare their plans to regain the upper hand. Seriousness cloaked in lighthearted prose equals a science book with popular potential. --Gilbert Taylor
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055338578X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553385786
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Yesterday I finished reading this book.
Luda
This book is written with a delightful sense of humor, yet the authors clearly take the subject seriously.
E. Kervina
Usually I dread reading non fiction, but i have to admit this was a rather fun book to read.
High School Sophmore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By IOgear GUW2015 VKIT on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was afraid the book would be over my head. It is very funny and they don't take anything for granted. They explain all of the nomenclature in detail so I never found myself wondering what they were writing about. I actually read it twice. Now I just go around waiting for someone to casually bring up cloning so I can pretend like the ideas in this book were mine.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Kervina on February 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written with a delightful sense of humor, yet the authors clearly take the subject seriously. Fun to read, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Kurpinski and Johnson admit right up front what so many from the highest halls of government on down refuse to recognize; The biotech genie is out of the bottle and he isn't going back in, so we'd better get to thinking about how we are going to handle things, rather than pretend it will all just go away.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Somewhat tongue in cheek, this is a terrific look at cloning that simplifies using humor without dumbing down DNA sequencing. The authors answer key questions and provide warnings. One particular caution is allowing your DNA sequence to appear on the Internet that will remind readers of Miss Manners' warning about social networking. Readers will ask how do I defeat a clone who has been enhanced to be superior. Answer is experience and knowledge. The future appears to be chocolate-flavored broccoli that Bush 41 would enjoy, but not to worry as humans have a long time history of genetic engineering in farming and animal domestication. So although stem cell research appears to have cures for illnesses, Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson make a serious Dr. Frankenstein case that good intentions pave the road to hell with unintended consequences. So be prepared to out think your healthier clone. This is a great science book that combines jocularity with easy to read and understand biotechnology.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Penketh on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Lively, funny, yet very informative description of the science of cloning. The authors are able to strike a perfect balance between getting into the weeds of what makes cloning work and keeping the subject light and understandable to non-scientists (like me). I especially like how they expolded the idea -- make commonplace in dozens of sci-fi stories, including the recent Star Wars movies -- that clones would arrive fully formed. Of course not! The clones of you would arrive as babies, and grow up at the same rate as you, but while being biologically similar, they would be the summation of THEIR experiences, not yours.

Very enjoyable and helpful in understanding this complex topic -- yet pop-culture savvy enough to explode all the myths that surround the science.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By High School Sophmore on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Being a high school school student, it is almost impossible to find that "just right" book. Many books on this topic are either very advanced and beyond my capabilities or too basic for high school level research. This is a great book that gives great insight on the topic. Usually I dread reading non fiction, but i have to admit this was a rather fun book to read. I think this is to other books as food inc. is to the other documentaries. It's an amazing book, because it actually kept me entertained and interested. It starts off with misconceptions then goes more into detail then towards the end branches off into other topics that are directly affected by cloning.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. E. Davey on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
"How to Defeat Your Own Clone" is an exceptional book.

Like my above one sentence review, this work is simple, to the point, and easily understood by the average reader. And I'm very much the average reader when it comes to books dealing with genetic science.

Based on the book's title, I was hoping it would explain cloning, genetics, and general scientific theory in an entertaining and/or humorous way. It does just that, but it does more as well.

It's one thing to write a book that's scientifically accurate, it's another to write a book that's funny, but to combine the two genres is no easy feat. The authors succeed admirably, and "How to Defeat Your Own Clone" is a fun read that also educates.

Concerned about the 21st century implications of biotechnology, stem cell research, and similar topics? Want to learn more? Don't want to be bored to tears or overwhelmed by jargon? If this sounds like you, then this title should be at the top of your list of books to buy.
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