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The Language of the Genes Hardcover – 7 Jun 1993

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (7 Jun. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002550202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002550208
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

WINNER OF THE RHONE-POULENC PRIZE FOR THE BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF 1994
WINNER OF THE YORKSHIRE POST BEST FIRST BOOK AWARD 1994

“Not so much divination as demystification . . . An attempt to bring genetics and evolution more into the public domain. If, for instance, you ever wondered just what genetic engineering is about, here is as good a place as any to discover. Few have Jones’ ability to communicate a difficult idea with such humour, clarity, precision and ease. “
LAURANCE HURST, 'Times Higher'

“Jones is sensitive to the social issues raised by genetics . . . Yet his interest reaches beyond contemporary social issues to the human past, to what genetics can and cannot tell us about our evolution and patterns of social development. He interleaves a broad knowledge of biology with considerations of cultural, demographic and – as the title indicates – linguistic history. Based on his 1992 Reith lectures, Jones's book is as once instructive and captivating. “
PETER TALLACK, 'London Review of Books'

“Trenchant , witty and enlightening . . . Jones' literate and wide-ranging book is an essential sightseer's guide to our own genetic terrain. “
PETER TALLACK,' Sunday Telegraph'

“This brilliant and witty book . . .is highly literate, and Jones goes a long way to bridging the deepening chasms between the two cultures. Not to know how genes affect us is to ignore a central factor in our lives.”
LEWIS WOLPERT, 'Daily Mail '

‘’Smoothly written and easily read . . . An absorbing and fascinating romp around the world of genetics.‘’
JOHN GRIBBIN, 'Sunday Times '

About the Author

Professor Steve Jones was born in Wales, educated in Scotland and lives in London. He is Professor of Genetics at the Galton Laboratory at University College London.

His first book, ‘The Language of the Genes’ (1993), won the Rhône-Poulenc Prize for the Best Science Book of the Year. It was based on the Reith Lectures he gave in 1991. He is Co-Editor of the ‘Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Human Evolution’ and joint author of The Open University final year genetics textbook.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I learnt a great deal from the Language of the Genes. Jones not only writes lucidly about some rather subtle technical issues, he also gives readers space to think about the subject for themselves, which is not at all easy to pull off. I reject the suggestion that the book is cliched or inaccurate and that non-expert readers will be mislead. Though not a molecular biologist myself, I had fairly good knowledge of the subject before coming to the Language of the Genes. I found no conflict with my existing understanding.
I have read a great many popular science books - I even wrote a PhD thesis on them - and the Language of Genes is one of the most finely crafted, well-balanced examples of the genre I have ever come across. It is a good read for experts and non-experts alike. I can not think of a better introduction to genetics for people starting from scratch. I continue to recommend it regularly. It is the book I gave to my granny when she became interested in the background of the GMO debate.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing book, beautifully written and incredibly informative. Steve Jones writes in a witty, interesting and entertaining style and manages to educate the reader without the reader even being aware of it! There's no off-putting jargon, even complex ideas are explained clearly using excellent analogies, and the book is full of fascinating examples and stories which you will be quoting for many years to come. This is an essential read for anyone who is even vaguely interested in genetics - and an absolute must if, like me, you're sort of aware of what it's all about but not quite sure ...!
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a clear, yet thoroughly engaging, look at our genes and how they affect us and society. It is lucid and easy to understand and not at all bogged down by scientific jargon or obscure references. It is a pleasure to read such an informative book, put forward in a highly entertaining way. A must read for any popular science book fan, or anyone with a passing interest in genes/genetics.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Paperback
I already had the 1994 edition of this book, well-thumbed. Every other page has a post-it note stuck to it, marking something fascinating, amazing, thought-provoking or just plain strange. I lent this book to everyone I know; and the last time I never got it back. My friend wants to keep it.
Steve Jones writes in a very accessible, chatty, informative style; backed up with years of training, experience, and scientific evidence. This guy knows what he is talking about. I haven't studied science since I was sixteen, but I understood everything. He covers topics from the sex life of mice to South American indians to why modern women find it hard to conceive. Whatever you are interested in, there will be something on it in this book! And if you liked this, which you will, try Steven Jay Gould's books on evolution. Any one of these will do as they are all fascinating. And a book called Why Things Bite Back, which explains how modern "civilisation" and advances in engineering and technology can sometimes cause more problems than they cure.
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Format: Paperback
Great to read. Absolutely impossible to get bored. This is a beautiful no-nonsense story of our genetic history and particularly of how the language of DNA unites all of life. Jones does not shy away from ethical questions and the economics of genetic medicine so you get a grown-up look at the challenges facing wo/mankind over the next century(?). Jones: very lucidly debunks eugenics; explains DNA and man's evolutionary history; describes the constant evolving war between parasite diseases and hosts; humanises the plight of sufferers from genetic illnesses like cystic fibrosis; and addresses cloning and food biotechnology. All in just over 300 pages of instructive prose.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb book which helps the understanding of genetics spiced with humour and aids to a better understanding. So much to learn but I hope he writes another as things are moving so fast with more scientific advancement.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read Watson's excellent description of the discovery of the structure of DNA which readable by a non specialist I was expecting Steve Jones book to be more readable than I have so far found it. Maybe it gets better as I progress beyond the 25% mark which I have found uneccessarily wordy. A short introduction defining the structure and formation of genes would have been useful. I'm hoping for better in Darwin's Island and Science of the Bible.
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Format: Paperback
Not your average genetic book its one of my favourite genetics books of all time a smart book very well written
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