The Language of Genes
Displaying a remarkable ability to convey complex ideas in an entertaining and illuminating way, geneticist Steve Jones takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the world of human genetics, explaining how the field began, the darker uses genetics has been put to in history, the role genes play in shaping who and what we are, and the effects that new genetic discoveries have had on our basic theories of evolution.
Over the last decade, the study of the human genetic code has granted us unparalleled insights into our species’ past, present, and future. The Human Genome Project—a massive scientific effort to map out each of the three billion elements in a strand of DNA—is but one example of the explosion of knowledge in recent years. Gradually, the origins of some of the most crippling and mysterious illnesses are beginning to come to light, as scientists locate the specific genes linked to hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and Huntington’s disease, offering new hope for detection and cure. But in addition to exploring the enormous potential benefits of current genetic research, Dr. Jones confronts head-on the complex moral dangers of genetic engineering.
The Language of Genes provides a timely and much-needed road map to understanding what may well be science’s most controversial and challenging field.