Abraham Lincoln's DNA and other Adventures in Genetics

Philip Reilly
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Publication date: 


ISBN 087969-580-3 - $25
Keith Conover of Glendale College recommended this book. It uses case studies and profiles of particular researchers to tell stories about fascinating case studies where genetics (and the new genetics) plays a role. The author was a lawyer interested in genetics who then completed Medical School. He served on the panel that developed the recommendation for the title case: "should some of the remains of Abraham Lincoln be used to determine whether this revered figure in American history had Marfan's syndrome?" (Their answer was 'not yet, at least.") The book also examines the identification of the remains of the Romanovs, hemophilia in the Royal families of Europe, the genetics of Toulouse-Lautrec's short stature and genius. This book does not shy from controversy; it discusses the possible genetic components of mental illness, homosexuality, and violent behavior. Later chapters cover issues in bioethics that include cloning, frozen embryos, the debate over GMOs, xenotransplantation, and privacy issues in genetic testing. In each case the author gives specific case studies or discusses the efforts of the key researchers in the field. Jim uses stories from this book to spice up lectures in Genetics.


Reviewed by: 
Jim DeKloe


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