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Synopsis

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

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In THE VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.

There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.

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The Violinist's Thumb
Average rating
3 / 5
Beats a textbook!
January 12th, 2015
A great marriage between storytelling and science! If you want to learn about the tiny bits that help shape us and some (sometimes extreme) examples of what those bits can do, look no further.
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1 review
The Violinists thumb..
April 21st, 2014
Never finished this. It seemed to be just a collection of odd ball junk. I reached the point where I couldn't give any more effort about the place in the book where cat urine was discussed in detail with viral additives that supposedly made cat ladies want to sniff the smelly urine... subconsciously of course but yuck Don't spend your money, its hipster tripe
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1 review

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