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How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution    by Kyle Kurpinski & Terry D. Johnson order for
How to Defeat Your Own Clone
by Kyle Kurpinski
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

With strong credentials in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson speak of what they know in How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution - and make it entertaining as well as informative, with frequent references to popular culture and with humor. Their book is positioned as a survival guide to the biotech revolution, the authors telling us that 'Those reaping the benefits of the biotech revolution will be healthier, smarter, and longer-lived than those who don't.' They playfully offer their book 'to teach you how your body works, how it doesn't work, how it might work in the future, and what to do if it gets cloned and the clone starts screwing with your life.'

Chapters address the Biotech Revolution (including a brief history of biotechnology and predictions of both utopian and dystopian futures);Cloning and You (including an explanation of why stem cells are needed to clone a complex organism and how clones, like twins, can turn out very different); Common Misconceptions ('affronts to biology and common sense in print or in film'); Bioenhancements (the 'human body as a unique fixer-upper opportunity' in areas like looks, longevity and healing ability); A Starter Kit for Playing God (covering 'some of Earth's greatest biological test subjects' from viruses to Frankenfood and VirtuaRat); and How to Defeat Your Own Clone (preparing for a doppelganger showdown 'if you and you aren't getting along').

The authors take a more serious tone in their Epilogue, where they remind us that 'Reproductive cloning, human bioenhancement, and artificial organisms may sound today like science fiction, but what is thought of as impossible by one generation is often taken for granted by the next.' If you've wondered about biotechnology, where it is and where it might lead, then How to Defeat Your Own Clone offers a thorough - and witty - overview, entertaining as much as it informs.

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