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Signs Of Life: The Language and Meaning of DNA Hardcover – January 19, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0395644980 ISBN-10: 0395644984 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (January 19, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395644984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395644980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,383,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pollack, who was a protege of James Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York, utilizes his position as a first-generation molecular geneticist as both lectern and pulpit. His state-of-the-genome report, based on the metaphor of genes as "text" has a smooth style which lends an authoritative background to his Faustian warning that genetics is the crossroads of science and society. He attempts to elucidate the workings of DNA, explores the significance of our ability to change the human genome and emphasizes the consequences of DNA mastery. Pollack acknowledges that his warning about the perils of this new knowledge is really writing on the bones of an older theme explored by Shelley, Goethe and H. G. Wells. His accessible model of the state of the discipline is informed by an energetic humanity, making for a challenging look at a front-page science topic.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Nowhere are the frontiers of modern science expanding more rapidly than in the field of molecular biology. Some of the new discoveries in the workings of DNA and genome sequencing not only offer the promise of opening new thresholds of understanding but also raise unprecedented questions about the fundamental nature of life and being human. Biologist Pollack argues that DNA can be read almost like a work of great literature. In expounding that view, he uses a uniquely literate and metaphorical style of popular science writing. Robert Shapiro's The Human Blueprint ( LJ 9/1/91) covers much the same territory and more, but Pollack's very personal and readable prose may have more appeal to general readers. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/93.
- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Readily accessible to literate non-scientists and scientists alike, Robert Pollack's is the only fully responsible presentation of the metaphor of DNA as information. Neither an ideologue nor a polemicist, Pollack deserves the chance to change the way we think about the human genome project and its hi-tech spin and spin-offs.
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