The Editors Recommend


by Ian Wilmut and Roger Highfield. W. W. Norton, 2006($24.95) "Fictional fascination with cloning has rarely focused on scientific fact but usually on issues of identity and how the sanctity of life will be challenged when 'ditto machines' of one kind or another create 'cookie cutter humans.' This obsession has led to endless confusion about what is possible and what is not." So writes Wilmut, leader of the team that 10 years ago cloned Dolly, the first animal created from an adult cell. He and Highfield, science editor of the Daily Telegraph in England, set out to separate fact from fiction. They succeed beautifully and go on to provide a forceful moral argument for cloning and its power to fight, and even eradicate, some of the most terrible diseases in existence. At the same time, this pioneer of cloning remains staunch in his opposition to using the procedure for human reproduction.

The book, despite its weighty concerns, avoids a moralizing tone and is exceedingly pleasant to read. To give a taste of the style: in explaining the arthritis that developed in Dolly's knee—unrelated, so far as they can tell, to cloning—the authors conclude that perhaps the condition "was inevitable for a corpulent sheep who had been indulged all her life and liked to stand up and beg on her rear legs."

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Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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