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.)
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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