Creation: How Science is Reinventing Life Itself

Adam Rutherford. Penguin/Current, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61723-005-9
Combining superb science writing with a refreshing wit, Rutherford does an excellent job of bringing genomics and synthetic biology to life in this accessible overview of the past and future of the fields. In the first half, the Nature magazine editor describes what we know about cellular biology, while the second portion explores where and how we might apply our growing knowledge base in the future. He argues that the theory of evolution does not aim to explain the origin of life, but he also insists that in order to know where we’re going, we have to know where we’re from, and one of the best ways to do that is to trace evolution at the cellular level: “In every cell is a perfect unbroken chain that stretches inevitably back... to one single entity, which we call the Last Universal Common Ancestor.” His elucidations of this concept and others are well-crafted and clear enough for lay readers to easily grasp his meaning. Most compellingly, he argues that increased biological research and experimentation might herald a shift that would rival the Industrial Revolution in terms of social change. There’s much to savor here—even in the footnotes. Agent: P.J. Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June 13)
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013
Release date: 06/13/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-14-197022-6
Paperback - 278 pages - 978-1-61723-011-0
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