The Code of Life


In The Code of Life, we learn why children look like their parents.  Where do we get our hair and eye colours from? This brilliant book by genetic scientists Carla Hefner and Mike Scheier explains genetic theory, what genes are and what they comprise.  We also learn why and how DNA plays an important role, but what so all these insights have to do with a curious monk?
This is an exciting journey through the history of science and present-day genetic research and engineering.  However, the authors also address questions of identity and the controversial aspects of genetic engineering.  This is the perfect book for middle grade readers, with or without a particular interest in science.  The authors use language that is inclusive and accessible and enables an understanding of what can sometimes be difficult concepts.


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The Code of Life

All about genes, DNA, genetic engineering and why you are the way you are

Carla Hafner and Mike Scheier

(Flying Eye Books)

The Code of Life is a quite superb non-fiction book that delivers into the world of genetics.  The authors, both genetic scientists, explain the principles of heredity and offer exciting ideas for experiments children can try at home and in class.
Have you often wondered why children look like their parents? Why do some people have blond hair, while others have black?  Where do we get our eye colours from? Why might you be tall if your parents are not?
Using accessible language and illustrations that clearly explain the topic, the authors explain genetic theory.  We also learn what genes are and what substances they comprise.  How does DNA plays an important role in our human development?  The authors trace genetic research through the history of science, and introduce present-day research and engineering.  The book also tackles some of the more controversial aspects of genetic science, such as modified foodstuffs and human and animal genetic engineering.  There is also a discussion on the broader questions of identity because DNA does not just determine physical characteristics, but also those relating to personality.


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