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Abraham Lincoln's DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics


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History: Using DNA to Understand the Past *Abraham Lincoln: Did he have Marfan syndrome? Kings and queens: Genetic disease in royal families Toulouse Lautrec: An artist despite his genes Old bones: DNA and dkeletons Justice: The DNA Revolution in the Courts *DNA detectives: The new DNA evidence Cold hits: The rise of DNA felon databanks Violence: Do mutations cause crime? Wrongful birth: What should the doctor know? Behavior: Do Genes Make Us the Way We Are? *Mental illness: How much is genetic? Personality: Were we born that way? Talent: Nature or nurture? Gay genes: What's the evidence? Plants and Animals: Genetic Engineering and Nature *Genetically modified organisms: The next green revolution? Transgenic animals: New food and new factories Endangered animals: New genes to beat extinction Xenotransplantation: Animal organs into humans Diseases: The Genetic Revolution in Medicine *Cystic fibrosis: Should everyone be tested? Breast cancer: The burden of knowing Alzheimer disease: Are you at high risk? Gene therapy: The dreams and the reality Dilemmas: Genetic Technologies and Individual Choice *Privacy: Who should be able to know your genes? Frozen embryos: People or property? Cloning: Why is everyone opposed? Eugenics: Is it possible to improve the gene pool?


The 21st century has begun with an overwhelming outpouring of advances in molecular biology and genetics, and the medical profession has only started to wrestle with the many social and moral questions posed by the startling progress in these fields. Indeed, as Philip Reilly suggests in this straightforward and readable collection of intertwined essays, society as a whole must confront these questions. For laypeople and professionals alike who yearn for a better understanding of genetically engineered crops, DNA fingerprinting, cloning, or gene therapy, here is a valuable addition to a small but critical literature that will frame our public discourse as we decide how to use the burgeoning knowledge of the genome. The New England Journal of Medicine Reilly uses Abraham Lincoln's DNA to teach the science's basics... But Reilly's pace is always fast, and his descriptive powers are a joy... In the end, Reilly argues that learning how genes work may be the easy part. Understanding and living with the consequences may be the harder part. USA Today

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