Genetic research has flourished in the 21st century and as scientists learn more, the general population also wants to learn. Enter in science books such as Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body, which take the often-complicated science of genetics and makes it accessible to curious people.

“‘Hedgehog’ was the obvious name for the gene, and when a related gene was discovered in vertebrates, ‘sonic hedgehog’ seemed the natural choice to a postgraduate student who perhaps loved his gaming-console too much.”

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Mutants  satisfies a common curiosity we share about genetic anomalies, while still respecting the people who exhibit these traits.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Some may call it morbid curiosity, but I don’t think its morbid at all. The study of mutants (we are all mutants) has intrigued geeks for ages, which has led us to talk about mutant genes people have instead of mutant people.

From superhero mutants to mutant turtles, we’ve all embraced mutants, but author Leroi takes mutants out of fiction and into fact and does it in a fascinating way.

Rating (4 stars)

The study of genetics is a fast-moving one and Mutants was written a decade ago so no doubt some of the information is out-of-date. However, because the book takes a historical perspective, it remains a worthwhile read.

Recorded legends of people who exhibited strange features are explained through modern science. These stories are what drives this book and makes it a worthwhile read.