The Language of the Genes

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HarperCollins UK, Jun 28, 2012 - Science - 352 pages
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Steve Jones’s highly acclaimed, double prize-winning, bestselling first book is now fully revised to cover all the new genetic breakthroughs from GM food to Dolly the sheep. ’An essential sightseer’s guide to our own genetic terrain.’ Peter Tallack, Sunday Telegraph

’Superb and exhilarating trip around the double spiral of DNA, a rush of gravity-defying concepts and wild swerves of the scientific imagination.’ J.G. Ballard, Daily Telegraph

’Not so much divination as demystification... An attempt to bring genetics and evolution more into the public domain. If, for instance, you ever wondered just what genetic engineering is about, here is as good a place as any to discover. Few have Jones’s ability to communicate a difficult idea with such humour, clarity, precision and ease.’ Laurence Hurst, Times Higher

‘Sensitive to the social issues raised by genetics... yet Jones’s interest reaches beyond contemporary social issues to the human past, to what genetics can and cannot tell us about our evolution and patterns of social development. He interleaves a broad knowledge of biology with considerations of cultural, demographic and – as his title indicates – linguistic history. At once instructive and captivating.’ Daniel J.Kevles, London Review of Books


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THE LANGUAGE OF GENES: Unraveling the Mysteries of Human Genetics

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

If the history of life is the history of DNA, then this survey of genetics is an essential book for anyone interested in the development and possible future of our species. Jones (Genetics/University ... Read full review

The language of genes: solving the mysteries of our genetic past, present, and future

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Witty and erudite, but a little unfocused, this title is as much about anthropology and (pre) history as genetics. Jones has produced a thought-provoking and free-wheeling book for the nonspecialist ... Read full review


A Message from our Ancestors
The Rules of the Game
Herodotus Revised
Change or Decay
Calibans Revenge
Behind the Screen
The Battle of the Sexes
Clocks Fossils and Apes
Darwins Strategist
The Deadly Fevers
Cousins under the Skin
Evolution Applied
The Modern Prometheus
The Evolution of Utopia
A Bibliographic Sketch

Time and Chance
The Economics of Eden
The Kingdoms of Cain

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About the author (2012)

Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics and Head of the Galton Laboratory, University College, London. In 1991 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the subject of genetics and evolution. In 1996, the Royal Society presented him with the Michael Faraday Award given annually to the scientist who has done the most to further the public understanding of science. Professor Jones was born in Wales, educated in Scotland and lives in London. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution, and joint author of Genetics for Beginners and of the Open University’s final-year genetics textbook. On balance he prefers snails to humans.

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