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New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 256 pages.
Reviewer Jonathan Marks summarizes, “Jeremy Taylor argues that (1) we are genomically more different than the 98–99% datum has indicated; (2) we are cognitively and behaviorally more different than the inhabitants of the post-Goodall world have been led to believe; and (3) the elision of human and chimpanzee, as animal-rights advocates have promoted, is unwarranted.
Des Moines, IA: National Geographic Society, 2007. 247 pages.
In Deep Ancestry, Spencer Wells, the director of the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project, clearly explains the science behind the project — which is collecting DNA from a wide sample of the world's population in order to understand the evolution of the human genome — and also engagingly relates the stories of five of its volunteers.
New York: Collins, 1991. 224 pages.
The author/illustrator of The Cartoon Guide to the Universe teams up with the University of California at Davis microbiologist to explain the basics of genetics in words and pictures. First published in 1983, and updated in 1991, the longevity of The Cartoon Guide to Genetics is testimony to its usefulness. The reviewer for TIGR's Genome News Network writes, "The amount of detail is impressive. ...
New York: Hill and Wang, 2002. 384 pages.
From the publisher: "In the mid-nineteenth century, a Moravian friar made a discovery that was to shape not only the future of science but also that of the human race. With his deceptively simple experiments on peas in a monastery garden in Brno, Gregor Mendel was the first to establish the basic laws of heredity, laws from which the principles of modern genetics can be drawn.
New York: Ecco, 2002. 224 pages.
From Thomas Hunt Morgan to the present day, the unassuming fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been at the center of genetic research. Brookes's lively book follows the fruit fly through the history of 20th-century biology, where it inspired the work of at least three Nobel laureates (Morgan, Muller, and Lewis), all the way to the Drosophila Genome Project. The reviewer for Amazon.com writes, "Brookes's enthusiasm is catching, and Fly will send readers running to their kitchens to catch a glimpse of these scientific superstars."
New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. 364 pages.
Originally published in 1937 (before the discovery of the structure of DNA) and reissued by Columbia University Press in 1982 with a new introduction by Stephen Jay Gould, Dobzhansky's book advanced a comprehensive account of the evolutionary process in terms of genetics. By citing experimental evidence to support the theoretical arguments of Sewall Wright, J. B. S. Haldane, and R. A. Fisher, Genetics and the Origin of Species was one of the seminal works of the modern synthesis, prompting a surge of evolutionary studies throughout biology. A classic of enduring value.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. 256 pages.
The title of the prologue to Darwin in the Genome encapsulates the thesis of the book nicely: "Chance favors the prepared genome." The publisher writes, "Written by a molecular biologist at the forefront of genomics research, Darwin in the Genome is an exciting account of one of the hottest new theories in biology today: evolution by natural selection inevitably leads to strategic mutations.
Wilmington, DE: Wiley-Liss, 2004. 240 pages.
In their lively and illustrated introduction to genomics, Rob Desalle and Michael Yudell discuss how the genomic revolution came to pass, what it amounts to, and what prospects and perils await. The reviewer for Natural History described Welcome to the Genome as "engagingly written and illustrated in full-color ...
New York: Harper Perennial, 2006. 344 pages.
In his preface to Genome, Matt Ridley — the zoologist-turned-science-writer who wrote The Red Queen and The Origin of Virtue — describes the original plan for his book: "Why not try to tell the unfolding story of the human genome, now being discovered in detail for the first time, chromosome by chromosome, by picking a gene from each chromosome to fit the story as it is told?" And that is what precisely he did, in clear, instructive, and lively prose.
Voices for Evolution
The third edition of Voices for Evolution can be purchased or downloaded at Lulu.com