After nuclear power, genetic engineering is probably the single most controversial idea in science. It is associated with sinister medical schemes and terrible, radical experiments. It provokes passionate argument, because now we have the ability to alter the capacities of living things. One of the difficulties in understanding the issues at stake is the sheer complexity of genes in living organisms. They occur in bewildering permutations and can cause very different effects, depending on their location. Many biologists claim that they are also the irreducible units of natural selection. Colin Tudge attempts to deliver a clear introduction to modern biology and genetics for non-scientists. He argues that because gene behaviour cannot be predicted in new environments, we are engaged in genetic "gardening" not genetic engineering. The dangers of ad hoc tinkering and breeding are dramatically described. The author carrries on to explore the laberatory and utopian possibilities of a new created life. Colin Tudge wrote "Last Animals at the Zoo", which was shortlisted for the 1992 Science Book Prize.