Authors Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson pretty much have me convinced that human cloning is quite possible and is a future certainty. Kurpinski and Johnson are both bioengineering experts; unlike similar scientists you have seen in b-movies, they both have a sense of humor. I know that there are five people who would be shocked to hear I enjoyed a science book: 1) my high school science teacher; 2) my summer school science teacher; 3) my high school biology teacher; 4) my summer school biology teacher; and 5) my earth science professor who unfairly gave me a “C” because she couldn’t add. My environmental science and geology professors wouldn’t even be mildly surprised. What surprises me is that Kurpinski and Johnson were able to take something as complicated as DNA and make it semi-understandable (let’s face it, I’m a housewife, not a
rocket bioengineering scientist).
“DNA” is tossed around so much that the term has worked its way into abuse and misuse. Enjoying certain types of music is not encoded in one’s DNA, nor is the love of (ugh) chocolate.
How to Defeat Your Own Clone teaches us what is now known to be DNA-encoded, how that happens, and why people with similar DNA don’t look and act the same. It also clearly explains the difference between RNA and DNA (besides that RNA, in its entirety, is easier to pronounce). Once we get a basic understanding of what DNA and its purpose are, How to Defeat Your Own Clone explains cloning and stem cell research. It occurs to me that a lot of people who are anti-stem-cell-research don’t have a clue what they are protesting. The authors provide a concise history of cloning, as well as information about stem cells. The real fun starts when the authors attack various myths about cloning. Apparently, too many people have been watching way too many bad movies and television programs. People, it’s fiction. If, somehow, scientists manage to clone your sorry butt (along with the rest of you), twenty years from now your clone isn’t going to want to kill you and assume your bankrupt, lazy ass, pot-bellied identity. Even identity thieves aren’t interested in all of us.