The Language of the Genes

Front Cover
HarperCollins UK, Jun 28, 2012 - Science - 352 pages
3 Reviews

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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - comixminx - LibraryThing

Plenty of good stuff in this but despite the revamp for the second edition, it's still looking a bit outdated for current reading in 2011. Would no doubt have been really worth it when it won the Rhone-Poulenc prize in the 90s. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nocto - LibraryThing

Very, very readable science; really, really interesting. Must read more of Jones's books. 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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