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The Thread of Life

The Thread of Life
The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering


  • Date Published: March 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521465427

£ 63.00

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About the Authors
  • 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 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 faces up to the science involved and should be read by anyone who wants to know about DNA and genetic engineering.

    • Fascinating account of the structure and function of genes and the applications of genetic engineering to the wider world
    • Up-to-date hard science described in easy to follow, step-by-step, style
    • Discusses the ethical and economic issues raised by scientists' abilities to modify genes
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A well-paced, elegant and imaginative ride through the story of genes and genetic engineering.' Focus

    'This book should provide anyone with a little prior knowledge of genetic engineering with a good insight in to this field.' E. Green, Endeavour

    'Everything you could want to know about the science of DNA.' Focus

    'Susan Aldridge's volume is one of the best … an extremely clear writer, and refreshingly free of the bombast that often marks books in this field … her knowledge and skill make her an excellent guide.' Jon Turney, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'This is an informative and entertaining book which explains simply but without trivializing and is of interest both to specialist and layman … a comprehensive, up-to-date and, above all, highly enjoyable account of a fascinating area of science.' C. F. Taylor, Annals of Human Biology

    '… a dependable insight into the applications and implications of molecular genetics.' Bernard Dixon, New Scientist

    '… begins with a concise but clear and accurate account of what genes are and how they were discovered … The author writes clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon by using homely analogies and simple explanations, but without compromising scientific accuracy … Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand more about the genetic revolution.' James W. Goding, Medical Journal of Australia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1996
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521465427
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. What Is DNA?:
    1. DNA is life'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

  • Author

    Susan Aldridge, Clinical Sciences Centre, London

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