An esteemed science, writing team makes an in-depth, journalistic foray into the cutting edge of biotechnology, using current research (giving the names of researchers) to examine risk estimations and ethical dilemmas in genetic manipulations before, during, and after birth. The authors explain the laws of heredity in detail, as well as possible genetic roles in common diseases--such as cancer, diabetes, dyslexia, lupus, heart disease, and alcoholism--and such less common conditions as Klinefelter's syndrome. The routes doctors have taken to medical breakthroughs (e.g., gene transfers) come alive here in a text nearly as current as today's newspapers. Of most use to report writers and those with a keen interest in genetics, this will also provide a field day for anyone intrigued by unusual disorders and by what medicine can--and cannot--do to treat them. Illustrated with b&w photos and diagrams. Bibliography; list of resources; index.