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July 20, 1984

The Gene Age: Genetic Engineering and the Next Industrial Revolution

Author Affiliations

East Carolina University School of Medicine Greenville, NC

JAMA. 1984;252(3):422-423. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350030080030

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This book is a review of recombinant DNA techniques and their industrial applications for the production of pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, and agricultural bacterial aids. The authors offer simplified schemata of recombinant DNA techniques in a lucid and intelligible fashion. Those particular chapters are therefore of interest to lay persons and to the few physicians who have not been involved in observing the growth of this area of knowledge.

Much of the volume, however, is devoted to relating anecdotes concerning the business aspects of the companies that have been developed, eg, patent legalities, trade secrets, engineering, and gossip about the individuals from the academic world who have become business entrepreneurs, as well as comments about their technical abilities in various aspects of new biotechnology.

Unfortunately, there are a few sections with unintelligible sentences and paragraphs, eg, pages 81 and 87, that indicate a lack of thorough proofreading. The volume can be