Gr 7 Up-Panno devotes a volume each to five "hot" areas of modern life sciences inquiry plus one on basic cell biology. He aims his discussions at student researchers, clearly explaining the developments and implications of specific studies performed over the past 30 or so years, but keeps technical jargon to a minimum, livening up his discourse with references to J. R. R. Tolkien and the use of stem cells to repair damaged nerve tissue as "high-tech cannibalism" (as considered by some opponents).The author also makes brave efforts to articulate ethical and legal, though not faith-based, issues that have arisen over many lines of research, frequently referring to the ethical imperatives laid out in the groundbreaking Belmont Report. A well-chosen, if thin, assortment of black-and-white photos and graphics illustrates the books. Though the volumes have the same general look, they are designed to be independent studies; there are no cross-references, and several share topic areas and even specific illustrations or passages of text. Still, considered as a cutting-edge supplement, this set merits a place in most collections, next to John Owen Edward Clark's The New Encyclopedia of Science (Oxford, 2003).-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.