Susan Aldridge gives an accessible guide to the world of DNA and also explores the applications of genetic engineering in biotechnology. She takes the reader, step by step, through the fascinating study of molecular biology. Aldridge also looks at the wider world of biotechnology and how genetic engineering can be applied to such problems as producing vegetarian cheese or cleaning up the environment. Although easy to read, The Thread of Life does not avoid the science and provides a stimulating introduction to this enigmatic part of nature.
Part I. What Is DNA?
1. DNA is life's blueprint
2. DNA in action
3. A close up of the genome
4. Where did DNA come from?
Part II. Engineering Genes
5. Genetic engineering
6. Creating new life forms
7. Genes: the human angle
8. New genes for old
Part III. Biotechnology
9. The wide world of biotechnology
10. Plant power
11. Environmental solutions
12. Beyond DNA
"A well-paced, elegant and imaginative ride through the story of genes and genetic engineering."
"Susan Aldridge has written a fine book. It can be confidently recommended both to students and scientists in other fields, and to general readers [...]."
- Science Spectra
"Susan Aldridge's volume is one of the best [...] an extremely clear writer, and refreshingly free of the bombast that often marks books in this field [...] her knowledge and skill make her an excellent guide."
- Jon Turney, The Times Higher Educational Supplement
"This is an informative and entertaining book which explains simply but without trivializing and is of interest both to specialist and layman [...] a comprehensive, up-to-date and, above all, highly enjoyable account of a fascinating area of science."
- C. F. Taylor, Annals of Human Biology
"[...] a dependable insight into the applications and implications of molecular genetics."
- Bernard Dixon, New Scientist
"Everything you could want to know about the science of DNA [...] A well-paced, elegant and imaginative ride through the story of genes and genetic engineering."
"This book should provide anyone with a little prior knowledge of genetic engineering with a good insight in to this field."
- E. Green, Endeavour
"[...] begins with a concise but clear and accurate account of what genes are and how they were discovered [...] The author writes clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon by using homely analogies and simple explanations, but without compromising scientific accuracy [...] Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand more about the genetic revolution."
- James W. Goding, Medical Journal of Australia