Sam Kean is the best science teacher you never had. Following up his accessible history of the periodic table, he switches out chemistry’s fundamental building blocks for biology’s, tackling the genetic code in The Violinist’s Thumb. The titular digit belongs to Niccolò Paganini, whose musical virtuosity was likely due to a hereditary mutation, and in general the book focuses on people rather than formulas. Paganini’s story joins a slew of other intriguing tales, which Kean spins in light, witty prose while also placing them in a broader scientific context. Given the confused, headachy feeling we’ve had thanks to the recent Higgs boson discovery, we can only hope the next topic he decodes will be physics. A-
BIO 101 Kean employs intriguing anecdotes to explain biology, making the genetic code palatable for laypeople
Genre: Nonfiction; Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Posted July 25 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Black Panther vs. Winter Soldier in 'Captain America: Civil War' clip
- Beyonce postpones 'Formation' tour's Nashville concert stop
- 'The Martian' extended cut has 10 minutes of extra footage
- Woody Harrelson denied medical marijuana dispensary license: Report
- WATCH: How Ryan Gosling put Margaret Qualley at ease on 'Nice Guys'
- 'That '70s Show' cast reunite on the set of Netflix's 'The Ranch'
- See President Obama's Very First White House Correspondents Dinner
- 13 Times Real Pain Inspired Great Art
- Destiny's Child's Best Matching Outfits Through the Years
- 'The Simpsons': See the Voices Behind Your Favorite Characters
- All the Photos From Beyonce's 'Formation' Tour
- 40 Celebrities Who Threw Out The First Pitch