A Guinea Pig's History of Biology: The plants and animals who taught us the facts of life

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9780099471240: A Guinea Pig's History of Biology: The plants and animals who taught us the facts of life

Much of the history of biology has been a matter of working with animals and plants. From Mendel’s grasses to Barbara McClintock’s maize, as well as a menagerie of animals, Jim Endersby tells their story.
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From the Back Cover:

Over the last century we have gone from ignorance as to why some diseases run in families to the availability of simple genetic tests that can be bought on the internet. And from announcements of the death of Darwinism to the triumph of the modern theory of evolution. All this is thanks to the fruit fly, the guinea pig, the zebra fish and a handful of other organisms, which have helped us unravel one of life’s greatest mysteries – inheritance.

Endersby traces his story from Darwin hand-pollinating passion flowers in his back-garden in an effort to find out whether his decision to marry his cousin had harmed their children, to today’s high-tech laboratories, full of shoals of shimmering zebra fish, whose bodies are transparent until they are mature, allowing scientists to watch every step as a single fertilised cell multiplies to become the millions of specialised cells that make up a new fish. Each story has – piece by piece – revealed how DNA determines the characteristics of the adult organism. Not every organism was as cooperative as the fruit fly or zebra fish, some provided scientists with misleading answers or encouraged them to ask the wrong questions.

Entertaining, surprising and enlightening by turns, this unusual and original view of the science of life also challenges us to consider the ethical dilemmas that biology presents today – when we have the capacity as never before to change the very nature of living things.

‘TRY to skim this book and you'll find yourself drawn into reading every word. Eye-opening and entertaining, this is cutting-edge history of science that everyone should read ... Throughout his gripping narrative, Jim Endersby shows how today's right answer is almost always tomorrow's wrong one.’ New Scientist

‘A highly entertaining and original book. Science is a collaborative process and by looking at the roles played by unwilling collaborators, from guinea pigs to zebrafish, Endersby provides a new perspective on the history of genetics’ Sunday Times

About the Author:

Jim Endersby is a lecturer in the history department at the University of Sussex.

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The triumphs of recent biology - understanding hereditary disease, the modern theory of evolution - are all thanks to the fruit fly, the guinea pig, the zebra fish and a handful of other organisms, which have helped us unravel one of life s greatest mysteries - inheritance.Jim Endersby traces his story from Darwin hand-pollinating passion flowers in his back garden in an effort to find out whether his decision to marry his cousin had harmed their children, to today s high-tech laboratories, full of shoals of shimmering zebra fish, whose bodies are transparent until they are mature, allowing scientists to watch every step as a single fertilised cell multiples to become millions of specialised cells that make up a new fish. Each story has - piece by piece - revealed how DNA determines the characteristics of the adult organism. Not every organism was as cooperative as the fruit fly or zebra fish, some provided scientists with misleading answers or encouraged them to ask the wrong questions. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099471240

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The triumphs of recent biology - understanding hereditary disease, the modern theory of evolution - are all thanks to the fruit fly, the guinea pig, the zebra fish and a handful of other organisms, which have helped us unravel one of life s greatest mysteries - inheritance. Jim Endersby traces his story from Darwin hand-pollinating passion flowers in his back garden in an effort to find out whether his decision to marry his cousin had harmed their children, to today s high-tech laboratories, full of shoals of shimmering zebra fish, whose bodies are transparent until they are mature, allowing scientists to watch every step as a single fertilised cell multiples to become millions of specialised cells that make up a new fish. Each story has - piece by piece - revealed how DNA determines the characteristics of the adult organism. Not every organism was as cooperative as the fruit fly or zebra fish, some provided scientists with misleading answers or encouraged them to ask the wrong questions. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099471240

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