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Biochemistry of Human Genetics

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  • Book Review
  • Medicine


YALE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE Volume 33, October 1960 depend upon their knowledge of fallout and their skill in minimizing per- sonal exposure during the days and weeks following. It may help us to know and understand these hazards, but the reader will also find a great deal of general scientific interest and much good reading. The book takes the form of a series of chapters. Three have been written by the editor and the rest by experts in the subjects treated. Although this has led to some unevenness in the chapters, the book is, on the whole, interesting, coherent, and easy to read. It is addressed to the reader without specialized scientific knowledge. There is an introduction to nuclear fission and the workings of atomic bombs and the later and more powerful thermo-nuclear bombs. Among the interesting things learned from fallout are the move- ments of the air masses in the stratosphere made evident by following the world wide distribution of the radioactivity from atomic bomb tests. There is a concise chapter on the levels of fallout in our foods and which have become deposited in our bones and tissues. Then there is an excellent chap- ter on human genetics and estimates of the effects of radiation on future gen- erations. Much is known of the effects of acute radiation on man from vari- ous accidents that have occured in atomic energy plants. Finally, there are realistic chapters on national survival in nuclear war and common sense precautions for personal safety. This is one book that should appeal to a wide public and can be confidently recommended. It presents the gist of the effects likely to result from fallout in peace and in nuclear war; moreover, it makes interesting reading while it avoids the emotionalism and exaggeration that has sometimes clouded dis- cussion of fallout from atom bomb tests. PAUL HOWARD FLANDERS BIOCHEMISTRY OF HUMAN GENETICS. G. E. W. Wolstenholme and C. M. O'Connor, Eds. Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1959. 347 pp. $9.50. This book is a collecti

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