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Biotechnology Unzipped: Promises and Realities, Revised Second Edition

Biotechnology Unzipped: Promises and Realities, Revised Second Edition
Author: Eric S. Grace - A Joseph Henry Press book
ISBN 13: 9780309096218
ISBN 10: 309096219
Edition: 2nd Revised ed.
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
Publication Date: 2006-07-26
Format: Paperback
Pages: 241
List Price: $19.95

To tell of scientists transplanting genes from one species to another sounds uncomfortably like either a horror story or the start of a bad joke—what do you get when you cross a hyena with a parrot? Biotechnology Unzipped is a reader-friendly explanation of biotechnology, its history, and its implications for us all.

The term "biotechnology" may raise more hope and fear, revelation and confusion, excitement and alarm than any other term in today's headlines. In Biotechnology Unzipped, scientist and skilled science popoularizer Dr. Eric Grace helps readers understand what biotechnology is and what implications it holds for all of us.

From humanhealth and medical technology to agribusiness and environmental cleanup, Grace examines the promises, realities, and ethics of this dynamic technology. This book provides an explanation of how we came to where we are—from the coining of the word "cell" in 1665 to Darwin's breakthrough insight on evolution, from the unraveling of the DNA double helix to the 1997 announcement of the cloning of Dolly the sheep.

Biotechnology Unzipped uses everyday metaphors to help readers understand the genetic code and how it works to produce the many forms of life that exist on Earth. It explores the promises and realities of biotechnology, but also deals frankly with the fact that biotechnology is, first and foremost, a commercial activity. Focusing on the ethical implications, he looks at the scope of public opinion, the role of the media, the vulnerability of the poor to exploitation, and the problem of patenting life itself.

In an age when many people are skeptical of the benefits of science and technology and less trusting of those who control it, many worry that this powerful technology will be misused or get out of hand. Biotechnology Unzipped provides a thorough introduction to this fascinating subject.