(p. C9) Mr. Zimmer, a New York Times science columnist and author, is careful and well-informed. So when he says that research is overturning things you were taught in biology classes, he’s worth heeding. Acquired traits can be inherited. Biological time can turn backward.
. . .
The bigger breakthroughs are more fundamental. One is the development of induced pluripotent stem cells. By adding four proteins to adult cells, scientists have learned how to make them embryonic–“turning back developmental time,” as Mr. Zimmer puts it. This is a big step toward regenerative medicine, which can grow spare parts customized for your body. It also creates new ways of making babies.
. . .
Another breakthrough is gene editing. Through a process called Crispr, which tags DNA segments for deletion, we’re learning how to program cells to make specific changes to their genomes. We’re also learning how to program organisms to pass down these editing instructions to their progeny. Experiments have shown that this technology could, at some point, cure hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis. In addition, scientists think it could wipe out destructive rodents and malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
For the full review, see:
William Saletan. “‘Biology’s Strange New World. Acquired traits can be inherited. Biological time can turn backward. And monsters are real.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, June 30, 2018): C9.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date June 28, 2018, and has the title “”She Has Her Mother’s Laugh’ Review: Biology’s Strange New World. Acquired traits can be inherited. Biological time can turn backward. And monsters are real.”)
The book under review, is:
Zimmer, Carl. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. New York: Dutton, 2018.