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NatureThe 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.