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The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Little, Brown and Company

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Manufacturer Description

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as informed by our own DNA.

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean opened the mysteries of the routine table. In THE VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the marvels of the magical foundation of life: DNA.

There are genes to describe insane cat women, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes brighten everything from JFK's bronze skin (it had not been a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans reproduced thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the remarkable versatility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean's dynamic storytelling as soon as again makes science amusing, discussing human history and whimsy while demonstrating how DNA will influence our species' future.


Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: Born to moms and dads called Gene and Jean, Sam Kean got enough ribbing in school science courses to establish a very early aversion to genetics. Fortunate for us, interest overcame conditioning as he became progressively fascinated with the function DNA plays in forming destiny. As he performed in The Disappearing Spoon, an astounding chronicle of human communications with each routine element, Kean has actually produced another page-turning clinical history in The Violinist's Thumb. With fluid gusto, he turns the discovery of DNA into riveting human drama, then unfurls a series of anecdotes that broaden our understanding of hereditary influence on our lives as (often uniquely talented) individuals, from head of states to physicists to violin virtuosos with extremely dexterous digits. Kean illuminates clues embedded in our genes that assist map the meandering trajectory of our species, then leaves readers with the unique impression that all this has actually been a superb preamble to our species' most thrilling (and likely chilling) chapter: manipulating our DNA to remake future humans, and all life .--Mari Malcolm

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