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The Thread of Life: The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering (Canto) Kindle Edition

8 customer reviews

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"...a thorough introduction to this fascinating field...for the reader witha background and ongoing interest in biology, The Thread of Life is a valuable resource." Boston Book Review

"Here is a book that could well be offered to would-be science writers as a guide to the craft of engaging and retaining their readers' interest...the story is told as a pleasing succession of sections on the nature of DNA and its functions, genetic engineering and human applications such as screening and fingerprinting, and the principal varieties of biotechnology. Within each section, there is evidence of careful consideration of how to lead the reader, as painlessly and even entertainingly as possible, from one realm of concepts to the other...there are vivid descriptions of phenomena which other authors struggle (and often fail) to put across in an accessible way...Susan Aldridge has written a fine book. It can be confidently recommended both to students and scientists in other fields, and to general readers seeking a uniquely comprehensive portrait of genes and genetic engineering." Bernard Dixon, Science Spectra

"Anyone looking for a dependable insight into the applications and implications of molecular genetics--on what is really happening and what realistically might happen in the future--can be directed with confidence towards...Susan Aldridge's The Thread of Life...With clarity, cogency and surprisingly little overlap, British researcher and science writer Aldridge explains the science of DNA, gene splicing and biotechnology...." New Scientist

"This is a very readable book...well worth reading. A good review of the expanse of DNA related research and technology, it will help to keep broad the perspective of those engrossed in a segment of the field. For those who are early in studies it will stimulate imagination for their future contribution and for the serious reader who wants a good introduction, The Thread of Life could be just that." American Journal of Medical Genetics

" outstanding review of DNA, its history and application....An interesting and useful account." Choice

Book Description

In a delightfully accessible way The Thread of Life describes the fascinating world of the gene. It explains how genes work and how technology enables scientists to manipulate them, as well as discussing the ethical issues. This is compulsive reading for anyone interested in modern science.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2811 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 28, 1998)
  • Publication Date: March 29, 1996
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,612,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Rachlin on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I learned a great deal from this book and enjoyed reading it. However I sometimes felt like the "tour" was moving too fast...great breadth but (perhaps unavoidably) not much depth. Additional figures and diagrams would have been helpful. I was surprised that there was no mention of the increasingly important role of computer science / bioinformatics. Still, if you are looking for a primer on the fundamental scientific methods, and an objective presentation of the key issues, this is a good place to start. A great many scientific ideas packed into a small volume.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By on November 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book gives the most clear and concise description of the workings of DNA and basic life biochemistry that I have read. It has been successful in clearing up many of the most difficult aspects of this subject matter for me. Ms Aldridge is a very effective writer and educator for this complex subject matter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philip Carl on April 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found myself enjoying this book after punching through the initial chapters that served as the science primer for defining DNA. The author gets credit for laying out the biological concepts that the reader will need to know to understand the material that comes later (e.g., genetic engineering). Assuming you have no prior background, you'll need to learn these concepts before you can follow the various applications of genetic engineering she goes into. The writing style is lean, but doesn't gloss over the complexity of the subject.
The book shines in its treatment of genetic engineering and biotechnology. And unlike a number of more recent books doesn't get fixated on the human genome project or sequencing in general. Actually, even with the book being several years old, I found many of the topics covered to be of interest even to date. Examples include a discussion of the "selfish gene" (proposed by Richard Dawkins), the theory of endosymbiosis pioneered by Lynn Margulis, the "ice-minus" bacteria used to keep strawberries from frost damage, and the genetically engineered "flavor-saver" tomato.
The applications of genetic engineering described in the book are definitely relevant and important (e.g., cloning, drug discovery, plant science, and environmental cleanup). And to the author's credit, she doesn't appear to take too strong a position on either side of the biotechnology ethic's debate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By on July 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A pretty nice introduction to genes, sequencing, genetic engineering, and related topics. Ms. Aldridge is mostly very clear, interesting, and impartial. She manages to include a little bit about a lot of the relevant and topical issues.
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