Mutated into Oblivion

Science  29 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5526, pp. 2437-2438
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062022

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Mendel's Demon Gene Justice and the Complexity of Life. By Mark Ridley. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2000. 351 pp. 20 pounds. ISBN 0-297-64634-6. released in the US as. The Cooperative Gene How Mendel's Demon Explains the Evolution of Complex Beings. Free Press, New York, 2001. 336 pp. $26, C$39.50. ISBN 0-7432-0161-2.

Ridley offers an intriguing consideration of the origins, persistence, and future prospects of complex life. He discusses how organisms adapted to deal with mutational mistakes in the copying of DNA, and he interprets the complicated process of meiosis as a mechanism that evolved to check selfish genes.