A Letter From The Publisher: Mar. 9, 1981

For this week's cover story on genetic engineering and its commercial applications, Reporter-Researcher Philip Faflick needed to confirm how many genes there are in a human cell. A call to the Time Inc. library promptly produced the answer: approximately 100,000. Unearthing such arcana is routine for the library's research staff. In recent months, it has been asked the gestation period of a cow (284 days), whether identical twins have the same fingerprints (no), the height of the Venus de Milo (6 ft. 8 in.) and whether worms swim (yes). Sometimes a straightforward answer does not drive home the desired point, and...

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