This is a short but rich exposition of findings in genetics and molecular biology and their implications for evolution, embryogenesis, theories of cancer, and recombinant DNA research. Hoagland's own contribution to the biological events of the past two decades--which he draws upon--has to do with energy transfer in the cell. Most popularizations run through the sequence: nuclear DNA--messenger RNA--transfer RNA--ribosomes--protein synthesis. Hoagland adds descriptions of the ubiquitous role of ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is the major source of energy required by the cell. It is used, for example, in linking amino acids in the generation of proteins. As a researcher, too, Hoagland conveys much of the scientific attitude, enthusiasm, and wonder. In one telling chapter he describes an experiment he designed, what he expected, and what actually happened, adding the modest disclaimer that ""most ideas are wrong."" The book can be enjoyed as much for the information given as for its keen flavor. If the subject is not everyone's oyster, consider it an excellent introduction for bright students, even at the high school level.