Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lex Libris

A number of exceptional books relating to genes, demes, or memes have been published in 2010.  Here is the LEXVIVO list of the top three:

Genes.  The $1,000 Genome:  The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine.  In this tour de force tour of genomics, Dr. Kevin Davies, Ph.D. (University of London) molecular geneticist and Editor-in-Chief of Bio-IT World (a LEXVIVO must-read), masterfully charts the recent, explosive, and fascinating rise of rapid DNA sequencing technology, explains the wealth of genomic information it enables, interviews the entire cast of characters driving progress in the field, and then frames this powerful technology and its myriad implications for individuals and society in scientific, cultural, ethical, and legal context.

Demes.  Greening through IT:  Informational Technology for Environmental Sustainability.  In this wonderful book, Professor Bill Tomlinson (Informatics Department, Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California Irvine), a Ph.D. graduate of the MIT Media Lab, brilliantly shows how code, both alone and in conjunction with law, can promote environmental sustainability.

Memes.  The Rational Optimist:  How Prosperity Evolves.  Dr. Matt Ridley (Ph.D. Oxford University), who has written widely and boldly on human evolution (e.g., The Red Queen:  Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature), genetics (e.g., The Agile Gene:  How Nature Turns on Nurture), and the genome (e.g., Genome:  The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters), here posits an elegant, eloquent, and challengingly controversial evolutionary explanation for economic growth via relentless innovation.  If one prefers moving pictures to thousands of words, here is Ridley's cheekily named TED talk, "When Ideas Have Sex."

Enjoy these wonderful books.

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