Children's Literature - Karen Saxe"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived, and dishonest-but the myth -persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic." This quote of John F. Kennedy's appears in the forward and is most appropriate to set the tone. Tagliaferro starts with an historical introduction to the field of genetic engineering, avoiding commentary on its benefits and perils. Surely though, such advances in biomedical research will affect, in both positive and negative ways, our environment and food supply. Tagliaferro then explores and examines different points of view on the possible social and biological implications of genetic engineering. This is a well researched book for sophisticated young readers; it will teach them some science; it will convey to them the complicated nature of designing government policies to deal with such issues, and it will probably get them examining their personal views on the subject. Highly recommended for school libraries and classroom teachers.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-9This treatment balances the potential benefits of human, animal, and plant genetic experimentation with cautionary statements. A short introduction to cell structure and division, Mendelian heredity theory, and the structure and function of DNA provides the background for the ethical discussions that follow. Separate chapters consider transgenic engineering of plants, of animals, human gene identification and manipulation, new genetically developed life forms, and regulation of genetic engineering. Tagliaferro discusses one of the most volatile areas in researchthe patenting of engineered life forms and exclusive experimentation rights granted on common plants to large agribusiness corporations, raising questions of monopolies on potentially beneficial discoveries. Color and black-and-white photographs and diagrams depict significant people in the history and current work in the field. Alvin and Virginia Silverstein's The Genetics Explosion (Four Winds, 1980; o.p.) debates some of the same issues, but is out of date. Updated topics, a good glossary, plus an extremely varied and extensive bibliography of periodical articles, corporate scientific reports, and monographs make Genetic Engineering a good source for debate material and current ideas in this field.Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY
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