Cats Are Not Peas: A Calico History of Genetics, Second Edition / Edition 2

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The Vets Turn Pale. . . George, a male calico, was a genetic anomaly, a manifestation of something that isn't supposed to happen, a creature so rare that even most veterinarians have never seen one. His curious existence sparked Laura Gould's long search through the archives of genetics to unearth the charming and valiant roles played by early cat geneticists, as well as cats themselves, in the study of genes and how they work. For everyone with an interest in cats and cat breeding, this is an unforgettable and often hilarious account of the intersecting lives of cats and geneticists.

The field of genetics has exploded since 1992, when the first edition of Cats Are Not Peas was completed. Thus a lengthy Addendum is included in this new edition, providing the reader with the terminology and concepts needed to understand two burgeoning new areas in which cats have again had significant roles to play—-the sequencing of genomes and the production of clones. These descriptions allow you to view with increasing wonder the world around you and to think seriously about whether you would like to have your personal genome mapped or your cat cloned, both of which are now possible (if you can afford it).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" to put down... Coherent, witty, and full of historical anecdotes … New Scientist … An easily understandable introduction to genetics…[with] a fascinating perspective.-Veterinary Technician, July 2007

masculine because he has the tell-tale gender Y-chromosome in his body's cells, distinctly a domestic feline because of his 18 pairs of autosomes, mottled (orange, black & white) adorable George is a male calico cat. His body flagrantly, but superficially, disobeys Mendel's laws of heredity. Laura Gould's delightful tale, compelling but never pedantic, reveals he is not a closet female but rather a ""mosaic"": half his body's myriad cells carry an extra X-chromosome. Her retold story enlightens our genetic, karyological and literary sensibilities."" -October 2007

"" highly recommended to community library pets/wildlife shelves with a focus on animal biology and for anyone who may be interested in breeding cats or just a plain interest in cats period."" -The Midwest Book Review, May 2008

""Curious as to why the male calico cat she had acquired by chance was so rare, Gould began looking at the underlying genetics, and discovered that modern scientists have a much more complex understanding of inheritance than Mendel's thinking, and than popular media would have people believe."" -BOOK NEWS Inc., June 2008"

New Scientist
Difficult to put down . . . Coherent, witty, and full of historical anecdotes.
Veterinary Technician
An easily understandable introduction to genetics . . . [with] a fascinating perspective.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568813202
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,302,114
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Gould's interests range from very dead writing systems (ancient Akkadian cuneiform), to computational linguistics (participation in machine translation, child language acquisition, and speech understanding projects) to the social implications of technology (co-founder of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) to the innovative transmission of ideas (recipient of U.C. Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award). She lives with her husband, two cats, and copious wildlife in a wilderness area of Northern California.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    The perfect gift for every cat lover you know

    If you love cats, you will love this book, and want to share it with others. Laura Gould has written the charming, witty, delightful story of her male calico cat, George, and his feline pal Max in their California home. That alone would have been a wonderful book. But aren't all calico cats female? The vet turned pale upon seeing George, obviously male and obviously calico. Gould intersperses George's' life story with her own investigation into how he could have come to exist. This makes a gentle, funny, and accurate introduction to genetics, including side trips to libraries with insane librarians preventing the books from being used, to theories of sex before the discovery of genes and DNA, and to rare Japanese sources. Cat lore, history and science are beautifully balanced in this book. The second edition brings the genetics up to date, while keeping all the charm of George. A superb read!

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