The Second Tree: Of Clones, Chimeras and Quests for Immortality

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Random House of Canada, Jul 7, 2010 - Science - 528 pages
The Second Tree documents a biological revolution that will change the way you think about the material world, your own life and even the inevitability of your own death

Genetic scientists are busily pushing back the boundaries of the humanly possible, climbing the branches of a tree of life that has been grafted by man, not God. Elaine Dewar chronicles the lives, the discoveries, and the feuds among modern biologists, exploring how they have crafted the tools to alter human evolution. She travels the globe on the trail of Charles Darwin and his intellectual descendants, telling the story of James D. Watson and his partner Francis Crick, who first described DNA; of Frederick Sanger, who invented how to sequence genes and won two Nobel prizes; of the computer scientists who put the human genome on the World Wide Web. She visits companies that are trying to turn cloned sheep into pharmacies on the hoof, to resurrect prize cows from the grave, to transplant human genes into mice — ultimately attempting to give us immortality in pieces while trying to keep investors happy. As these tales spill out, we find out how biologists learn by doing: tearing mice and worms and flies and human eggs apart, twinning disparate animal cells and genes together — creating clones and chimeras as outlandish as any sphinx.

In public, research biologists often express their good intentions about curing the big diseases. In private, many of them are compelled by furious struggles to be rich, famous and first. Dewar lays bare the motives, conflicts and fears of the men and women whose job it is to trespass the boundaries of what laypeople consider ethical and sacred.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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THE SECOND TREE: Stem Cells, Clones, Chimeras, and Quests for Immortality

User Review  - Kirkus

Canadian journalist Dewar (Bones, 2001) tackles the whole business of stem cells, cloning, and other at-the-edge science in a text composed largely of long interviews with various movers and shakers ... Read full review

The second tree: stem cells, clones, chimeras and quests for immortality

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Dewar, a Canadian investigative journalist, sets out to decode the motivations and morality of today's enterprising field of molecular biology. The title refers to the Tree of Life in Eden. Dewar ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
Part One
CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO
CHAPTER THREE
CHAPTER FOUR
CHAPTER FIVE
CHAPTER SIX
CHAPTER ELEVEN
CHAPTER TWELVE
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER SEVEN
CHAPTER EIGHT
CHAPTER NINE
CHAPTER TEN
Part Two
LOOSE ENDS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of Bones: Discovering the First Americans, Elaine Dewar has won multiple National Magazine Awards, and has been nominated for the Canadian Science Writers’ Association award. She lives in Toronto.

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