The Wisdom of the Genes: New Pathways in Evolution

Christopher Wills, Author, Christopher Willis, Author Basic Books $19.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-465-09195-9
The intersection of genetics, evolutionary science and molecular biology has produced remarkable findings in recent years. Jumping genes--pieces of DNA that move about the chromosomes--have been found to play an influential role. Parasites that actually live inside DNA can trigger mutations. Many biologists, among them UCLA professor Wills, believe that the process of evolution has grown easier over the eons because certain gene patterns turn some species into ever-more-agile adapters to environmental changes. How butterflies mimic look-alike cousins, the mix of marsupial and placental mammals in Australia and South America and the reign of the therapsids during the 50-million-year stretch before the dinosaurs are some of the intriguing phenomena Wills discusses in this lively primer of modern evolutionary theory. He uses apt analogies and examples but avoids oversimplification. Illustrations. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-465-09194-2
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