The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

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Thorndike Press, 2012 - Science - 623 pages
25 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA. In "The Disappearing Spoon," bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In THE VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.
There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.
Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dooney - LibraryThing

Kean has a great talent for making difficult subjects clear and easy to understand. Of course the technique he uses, of combining the story of DNA with the stories of the scientists who study it and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

You may recognize the authorís name because of his previous bestselling book about the periodic table, The Disappearing Spoon. In this book, he tackles genetics, doing a fine job in explaining a very ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, the New York Post, and New Scientist. In 2009 he was a runner-up for the National Association of Science Writers' Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for best science writer under the age of thirty, and he was a Middlebury Environmental Journalism fellow.

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