by George S. Fichter

(Illus; from the First Book series)
Franklin Watts Inc.
Glossary; Index
JH, YA *


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Each chapter in this book describes a certain aspect of cells: cell structure including organelles; history of the cell theory; special cells such as bone, skin, nerve, muscle and blood and their incorporation into organs and body systems; and the metabolism of cells, with breakdown of fats, sugars, and proteins. The last three chapters discuss reproduction, including DNA and the genetic code, and the development of genetic engineering with current applications and future possibilities of gene splicing. The series title is misleading because the text is more detailed and thorough than one would expect of a "first book." The discussion is strengthened by many illustrations and many mind-boggling facts that would excite any young student--for example, the existence of 25,000 genes in each sex cell, the linking of 100 amino acids per minute, the replacement of red blood cells at the rate of 2 million per second, a 3-foot length of DNA per cell, and countless others. Recommended for its clear and detailed explication of the fundamental aspects of cells.

--Reviewed by Mary H. Perry in Science Books and Films, 22/4 (March/April 1987), p. 232.