The Strongest Boy in the World: How Genetic Information Is Reshaping Our Lives

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This updated edition of Philip Reilly's highly praised and provocative book has been expanded to include an essay about the fast-moving and controversial field of personal genomics. In the essay, Reilly explains how new, cutting-edge technologies have facilitated the rapid discovery of genetic markers associated with ailments such as macular degeneration, heart disease, and schizophrenia. He describes how the same powerful technologies can be used to interpret the DNA sequence of anyone in the world--who can afford it. But how valuable are the data obtained from these tests? Will "personalized medicine" really improve our health and well-being? And at what cost? Reilly's new essay is a worthy addition to his entertaining and informative collection of stories on topics such as genetics and the future of sports, the evolutionary origins of humans, the mysteries of genetic diseases, the similarities between dogs and people, the impact of genetic engineering on what we eat, and the ethical dimensions of stem cell research.
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Editorial Reviews

The Strongest Boy in the World is a wonderful tour of genetics, genomics and stem-cell biology. General readers may find the science a stretch, but the effort will be amply rewarded with a better understanding of some of the most important issues currently facing our society. It isn't that Reilly gives new perspectives, but rather that he presents a rich, fascinating history and a broad view of the science that seasoned geneticists think about every day. Instruction about basic principles of genetics is minimal, with a 'knock-out' mouse being defined in terms of a transgenic mouse, for readers who know what the latter is. Reilly delves into broad fields of biology, society and history, clarifying the idea of 'race', but rather muddying the term 'family'.
For the geneticist, Reilly presents a balanced, positive view of ethical and social issues in genetics, and an entertaining background in history, geography and economics, and the way these fields interface with modern genetics and genomics. I've often tried to convince my colleagues across campus that genetics should be a part of every undergraduate's education. No book makes this case more clearly than The Strongest Boy in the World.
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Reilly writes well and avoids being slick and superficial. He believes in an ethical reflection on where science takes us. This combined approach makes the book valuable for courses on science and society or ethics. Teachers will mine a rich vein of anecdotes to use in their lectures, and this volume will be ideal to stimulate class discussion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879699437
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
  • Publication date: 2/17/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 950,275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The strongest boy in the world 3
2 Our ancestors 17
3 Race 33
4 Longevity 45
5 Intelligence 57
6 Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 71
7 Huntington's disease 83
8 Deafness 95
9 San Luis Valley syndrome 107
10 Severe combined immune deficiency 119
11 Dogs 133
12 Cats 147
13 Mice 159
14 Corn 171
15 Rice 183
16 History 197
17 DNA forensics 209
18 Art and language 221
19 Preimplantation genetic diagnosis 233
20 Stem cells 245
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