What Makes You What You Are?: A First Look at Genetics

What Makes You What You Are: A First Look at Genetics
by Sandy Bornstein

Silver Burdett Press(c)
0-671-63711-8; 0-671-68650-X (paper)
EI-C, GA **


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This brief book begins by explaining why we may or may not resemble our parents and why inherited traits are more than superficial. Control of traits by breeding is discussed using dogs as an example. An excellent basic discussion of cells and their contents follows. The book tries to explain the scientific aspects of cell division in a manner comprehensible to the young reader. The attempt, although forced, is good. Mendel's experiments are explained simply, with details not often found in undergraduate college textbooks, a real plus. A clear and understandable explanation of family trees is given. with instructions on how to develop one's own. Replication, transcription, and translation are discussed in a way that a wide audience can appreciate although the discussion of mutations seems cluttered and obtuse The book ends with simple discussions of Earth as a symbiotic unit, the differences between life and death, and the origin of life. The readable and informative book is highly recommended because it can be used with so many different audiences. Although not written for the college student, the text could be valuable as supplementary reading and for a developmental science course.

--Reviewed by Thomas E. Brown in Science Books and Films, 25/5 (May/June 1990), p. 267.