Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

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Each volume of the Facts On File Library in a Book series is carefully designed to be a first-stop research source on important current issues. Written clearly and carefully so that even the most complex aspects of the topic are easily understandable, the books give the reader the essential information to begin work, plus the research tools needed to delve more deeply into the issues. Each book includes a history of the subject, biographical information on important figures in the field, a complete annotated bibliography, and a carefully designed index-everything the researcher needs to get down to work.

From viruses to humans, each organism on Earth is made up of genes that when decoded provide a blueprint to how that organism functions. As technology and science have progressed, so have the depth and extent of biotechnology and genetic engineering. The use of biotechnology and genetic engineering has implications on all aspects of life, from the food people eat to the way they fight diseases. As scientists and others discover more about this emerging field, people will have to ask themselves and one another just how far this technology should reach. In this thoroughly revised third edition of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, author Lisa Yount explores such issues as genetic testing, genetically modified food, the pharmaceutical industry, synthetic biology, and the environmental and ethical ramifications of biotechnology. Contemporary case studies such as United States v. Kincade offer multiple perspectives and decisions surrounding this issue while also plotting a course for future debate.

About the Author:
Lisa Yount is a graduate of Stanford University,in English and creative writing (honors program, cum laude)

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Editorial Reviews

This review was written and published to compare and contrast three recent books about the biotechnology field by Lisa Yount, Thomas Shannon, and Bernice Schacter. They cover the controversial field of biotechnology in a thorough and excellent manner. Each approaches the topic a little differently and aims at a different audience. The Yount title, part of the Library in a Book series, covers the most ground, providing medical, political, and ethical viewpoints behind headline stories about DNA research and fingerprinting, the Human Genome Project, cloning, and the patenting of living organisms. The author also includes a chronology, a glossary of technical terms, and short biographical sketches of the scientists and others involved in the history and current issues surrounding the new science. This book is an expansion upon Yount's 1997 Genetics and Genetic Engineering, which was selected as a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age in 1997. She completes the volume with addresses and Web sites of biotechnical agencies and organizations as well as abstracts of landmark court cases. The Shannon book reprints excerpts from more than one hundred research articles, books, statutes, and news stories that trace the development of genetic engineering, from Watson and Crick's discovery of the double helix in 1953 to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's statement on the cloning of humans in 1998. The documents are categorized by topics that include animals, agriculture, medical diagnostics and research, and cloning. Students seeking primary sources will greatly appreciate the organization and content of this book, part of the Primary Documents in American History andContemporary Issues series. Schacter's work, the most scholarly of the three, reads like a college text. It is similar in content to the Yount book but looks at the topics from a more technical viewpoint, for instance, explaining the painstaking method by which DNA is "fingerprinted" and how cloning was made possible. Web site addresses are provided for further research into each subject that the volume covers. Many charts accompany technical chapters on topics such as Bovine Growth Hormone, and a series of issues for further discussion are suggested at the end of each chapter. Yount's title, covering many issues and related fields without too much depth but in a readable style and at an affordable price, is the resource to recommend for young adult readers. Shannon's title basically is a source for quotes and primary documents, helpful for the student researching the pros and cons of biotechnology, and Schacter's contribution is probably too technical for the typical YA. Its coverage is comprehensive for a few issues, but it is aimed for the more advanced reader. Glossary. Index. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix. 2000, Facts on File, 256p. PLB $39.95. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Kevin Beach

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This revised edition updates the 2000 publication of the same title. The first half of the book begins with a discussion of issues in the field (genetically modified foods, human gene alteration, DNA testing, etc.) along with some background information. This is followed by an explanation of the law and how it applies to the science and an extensive chronology from 10,000 years ago to March 2004. Next is a biographical dictionary of individuals who have played a major role in genetic technology or were involved in events that have had implications in the field. This section concludes with a 13-page glossary. The second part of the volume is dedicated to guiding students to additional resources. Coverage includes brief discussions of search engines and online resources, a lengthy annotated bibliography, and a listing of related organizations and agencies. Revisions have been made throughout this edition, including the bibliography. An essential update.-Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Education writer Yount provides background on the controversial technologies and the social, political, ethical, and legal issues they raise. She includes a chronology from the birth of agriculture to recent findings, information on court cases and significant legislation, concise biographies of important people, a glossary without pronunciation guides, an extensive and annotated bibliography, and a list of organizations and agencies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
Biotechnology And Genetic Engineering joins others in the publisher's 'Library in a Book' reference and deserves ongoing mention as an excellent single-volume basic introduction to biotechnology for readers at the high school level on up. From cloning to DNA mapping and legal ramifications of research, this packs in important history, ethical and moral discussions, and plenty of bibliographic references for further study.
For anyone, from lay person to student to researcher, this volume presents essential information on this contemporary, controversial topic in a well-organized and easily accessible format.
Lisa Yount's Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering is a winner: It provides an objective examination of biotechnology, providing basic details for understanding the technology and its implications.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816040001
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Series: Library in a Book Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Issues in biotechnology and genetic engineering 3
Ch. 2 The law and biotechnology 63
Ch. 3 Chronology 102
Ch. 4 Biographical listing 122
Ch. 5 Glossary 133
Ch. 6 How to research biotechnology and genetic engineering 149
Ch. 7 Annotated bibliography 163
Ch. 8 Organizations and agencies 232
App. A Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) 259
App. B Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980) 262
App. C Norman-Bloodsaw v. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 135 F.3d 1260 (1998) 274
App. D Bragdon v. Abbott, 97 U.S. 156 (1998) 290
App. E Excerpt from Human cloning and human dignity : an ethical inquiry executive summary (July 2002) 298
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