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EXONS, INTRONS, AND TALKING GENES

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT

Wills (Biology/Univ. of Cal. at San Diego) serves up a full platter in this insider's view of biology's ``Big Science'' project. While the subtitle suggests that his aim is to educate the reader about the science, he has a lot to say about the politics and personalities as well. The text begins with a vision of the brave new world ahead with its myriad genetic manipulations and therapies and their sociopolitical implications. Then it's on to the origins of the Human Genome Project. Wills credits Nobelist Renato Dulbecco with having proposed the concept. What got a reluctant biomedical community on board was a concatenation of events: News that the Department of Energy was moving full steam ahead on technology for DNA sequencing; Congressional prodding; conversion of a few key players; and appointment of James D. Watson himself to lead the effort for the National Institutes of Health. Wills does a fine job of putting the reader in the technological picture, including a marvelous tour ``through the genome with gun and camera'' in which even savvy readers may be startled to find how rapidly DNA is copied, moved to the cell body, and processed into proteins. Major milestones such as the discovery of the genes for muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis are described in detail, with no sparing of the inside dope on who did what to whom in the race to be first. In contrast to other recent historians of genome research, Wills makes it clear that all that so-called junk DNA between the ``exons'' that are the ``real'' genes may not be junk after all; indeed, the message is that nothing is as simple as it seemed at first. Final chapters deal with the challenges posed by cancer, schizophrenia, and the implications of finding genes related to talents/behavior/intelligence. Here, Wills can be faulted for too- summary a treatment of complex issues. Overall, though, a first- rate exposition by someone who must be a super teacher.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1991

ISBN: 0-465-02168-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Basic Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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