18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Mutatis Mutandis, 22 Jun 2004
From Aboriginies to Zulus, every society through the ages has seen mutations. Many have been feared, hidden away and forgotten about, or, conversely, placed on public display for ridicule and unethical study.
This book pulls away the veil of unease and exposes the genetic reasons for many mutations such as those suffered by the infamous James Merrick (the Elephant Man), Eng and Chang (conjoined twins), Uther Hermann (the Armless Fiddler) and Tognina Gonsalvus (the Hairy Child). Along the way acquainting us with euonymously named genes and proteins such as "Sonic the Hedgehog", "Scaramanda" and "Cerberus".
The amazing detail which the book goes into regarding the development of an embryo is abosorbing and wonderous, and so to is the history and development of theories about these mutations.
With many pictures, resources, and familiar examples this book is at times repulsive but a truly compelling read and very, very interesting.