When a book is called New Genetics, then starts out by rehashing the past, I am disappointed. When in the introduction an archaic word such as "heretofore" is used, I am really put off. That said, this book is very readable and I was surprised to enjoy it as much as I did. It was nice to learn that Thomas H. Morgan, a brilliant man who earned the Nobel Prize, was terribly disorganized. That gives hope to people such as me. The history of genetics is presented and covered in a way that anyone can enjoy. The fascinating factoids sprinkled throughout—such as dogs having more genes for smelling than we do but most of our genes overlapping by 75%—keep your interest in reading more. There are many stories and interesting facts in this book. The pictures and illustrations add greatly to the understandability and readability of this book. I would recommend it to all, but I would strongly recommend a new title.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This revision of Life Lines: The Story of the New Genetics (Facts On File, 1999) introduces readers to the history of genetics, including Gregor Mendel's studies of plant cross-pollination, Thomas Hunt Morgan's research with fruit flies, and Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, and continuing with Nobel Prize-winning research of the 1980s and earlier. As in the first edition, many of the black-and-white photos are portraits of early genetic pioneers. Standard textbook explanations are offered for how DNA is replicated, how genes code for proteins, and how RNA serves in enzyme systems. The text discusses a few recent advances, such as the mapping of the human genome, cloning, and genetically modified crops and animals, but there are many gaps in coverage. The emphasis is largely on discoveries and developments of the 20th century rather than the 21st. For example, the authors discuss the promise of stem-cell science to repair body parts and cure diseases, but do not address the current political conundrums hampering future advances. The last, barely three-page chapter is entitled "Future Prospects," but there is little new in the entire text to justify the book's title. Students and educators needing a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of stem-cell research should consult Toney Allman's Stem Cells (Gale, 2005).-Caroline Geck, Kean University, Union, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.