The Violinist's Thumb

And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code. Little, Brown. Jul. 2012. c.400p. ISBN 9780316182317. $25.99. SCI
Many considered the Human Genome Project complete in 2003, when a complete draft of the human genetic code was released, though scientists continue to revise and analyze their findings. Best-selling author Kean (The Disappearing Spoon) attempts to take the mystery out of DNA by explaining its structure, its historical impact, and how the science of genetics continues to influence our lives. A good portion of the book examines how modern genetic breakthroughs have helped to explain our evolutionary and historical past and discusses the often quirky stories associated with the major players in genetics research. The latter part of the book concentrates on what the future may hold as computer technology and our base of genetic knowledge expands. Kean aptly illustrates the tremendous amount of work that still remains to be done before we can hope to truly understand DNA.
VERDICT Throughout, Kean writes in a relatively unbiased, down-to-earth tone and goes beyond the basic biology to emphasize the social implications of DNA research. Light and witty if rambling at times, this book is recommended for all general readers.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing