The Sequence: Inside the race
for human genome
by Kevin Davies. Penguin,
N. Delhi. Pages: 310. Price: Rs. 295.
The science of
genetics began in 1900, when the work of the Austrian monk
Gregor Mendel was discovered. Although published in 1866, his
findings remained virtually ignored for more than three decades.
The discovery led to intensive studies of cell division.
term coined in 1906 by the British biologist William Bateson,
studies how physical, biochemical, and behavioral traits are
transmitted from parents to their offspring. Geneticists
determine the mechanisms of inheritance whereby the offspring of
sexually reproducing organisms do not exactly resemble their
parents, and the differences and similarities between parents
and progeny recur from generation to generation in repeated
patterns. The investigation of these patterns has led to some of
the most exciting discoveries in modern biology. The action of
genes is rarely a simple matter of a single gene controlling a
single trait. Often, one gene may control more than one trait,
and one trait may depend on many genes. For example, the action
of at least two dominant genes is required to produce purple
pigment in the purple-flowered sweet pea. Sweet peas that are
homozygous for either or both of the recessive alleles involved
in the color traits produce white flowers. Thus, the effects of
a gene can depend on which other genes are present.
Davies tells us
that the science of genetics has progressed to a stage where it
has become possible to assemble the complete sequence of all
three billion letters of human DNA, thanks to competition
triggered off by the Human Genome Project. The book narrates a
compelling story of the race between the official project led by
the brilliant geneticist Francis Collins and jointly sponsored
by the governments of the USA & UK on the one hand, and on
the other the renegade biotech company, Celera, founded by
Ventern. Celera’s aim was to be able to patent hundreds of
genes and sell precious information about genome sequence to the
So who won the
race? Read the book.
by Bhushan Dewan. Vikas
Publishing House, N. Delhi. Pages: xx + 319. Price: Rs. 250.
Information Technology is revolutionising the work culture in
traditional industries, it is also emerging as ‘The Industry’
of the new millennium. Consequently, new management paradigms
are being formulated. The author contends that Enterprise
Resource Planning, or the ERP, is one of the latest technologies
existing in the field of IT. It consolidates an organisation’s
resources in order to achieve an integrated output. This is
achieved by bringing about coordination among the various
departments and functions of an enterprise through the use of
latest technologies in the fields of production, communications
and related fields. The six other technologies covered in this
book are Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship
Management, Data Warehousing & Data Mining, Knowledge
Management, BLUETOOTH (Internet technologies) and Wireless
comprises seven modules. Each module deals in detail with a
specific technology and its application. Some of you might like
to buy it for reference purposes.
Works of Dewan K.S. Puri on Disputed Handwriting and Finger
edited by Jagjit Puri. Dewan K.S. Puri Foundation, Chandigarh.
Pages: 147. Price: Rs. 120.
criminals is much more than the cloak and dagger stuff depicted
so alluringly in cinema. It certainly is not a ‘side-business’
for handsome hunks in glamorous outfits romancing bewitching
belles, with a gory climax; but a dry, unromantic and solid hard
work in musty offices and smelly laboratories far away from
admiring eyes. Often the forensics-aided good work goes
medicine is the application of medical knowledge to ascertain
causes of injury and death, including incidents involving crime.
It comprises three disciplines: forensic pathology, forensic
science, and forensic psychiatry. According to Claire Elizabeth
Lewis – who taught at the University of Oxford as Research
Lecturer in Cell Physiology, and has several research-works to
her credit – the study of forensic pathology dates from the
16th century, when it began as a defined discipline in Europe.
In 1530 Charles V in Constitutio Criminalis Carolina portrayed
the importance of forensic pathology, particularly in the
medical testimony of proof of death in cases of infanticide,
homicide, abortion, or poisoning.
Dewan K.S. Puri
tells us about the importance and applications of some of the
forensic tools. In his lucid style he brings home the need of
fingerprint comparisons. He also dwells upon clues provided by
one’s handwriting and signature.
"Finger prints are very extensively used in crime
investigation". Narrating his experience of finger print
identification in Japan the author feels that their system of
tracing and searching is far quicker and superior than in many
countries. He further observes that in Japan handwriting
"must be really an exact science". They have several
machines and devices to identify peculiarities in a person’s
You will find
chapters like "Personality through handwriting";
"History of finger-prints"; and "Medical
significance of ridges and creases" quite absorbing.
This book can be easily
understood by a lay reader, and yet be extremely useful to the