A Genetic View of Jewish History
Hardcover ISBN: 0300125836
Who are the Jews? Where did they come from? What is the connection between an ancient Jewish priest in Jerusalem and today’s Israeli sunbather on the beaches of Tel Aviv? These questions stand at the heart of this engaging book. Geneticist David Goldstein analyzes modern DNA studies of Jewish populations and examines the intersections of these scientific findings with the history (both biblical and modern) and oral tradition of the Jews. With a special gift for translating complex scientific concepts into language understandable to all, Goldstein delivers an accessible, personal, and fascinating book that tells the history of a group of people through the lens of genetics. In a series of detective-style stories, Goldstein explores the priestly lineage of Jewish males as manifested by Y chromosomes; the Jewish lineage claims of the Lemba, an obscure black South African tribe; the differences in maternal and paternal genetic heritage among Jewish populations; and much more. The author also grapples with the medical and ethical implications of our rapidly growing command of the human genomic landscape. The study of genetics has not only changed the study of Jewish history, Goldstein shows, it has altered notions of Jewish identity and even our understanding of what makes a people a people.
The Agile Gene
How Nature Turns on Nurture
Paperback ISBN: 006000679x
A historical analysis of the nature-versus-nurture debate documents the 2001 discovery that there are fewer genes in a human genome than previously thought and considers the argument that nurture elements are also largely responsible for human behavior. Originally published as Nature Via Nurture. Reprint.
Staying Human in an Engineered Age
Paperback ISBN: 0805075194
The author issues a warning about the dangers and limitations of technology, delving into the latest research in genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology to map a future where humans will be made rather than born.
She Has Her Mother's Laugh
The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
Hardcover ISBN: 1101984597
Award-winning, celebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society--a force set to shape our future even more radically. She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities. . . . But, Zimmer writes, "Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are--our appearance, our height, our penchants--in inconceivably subtle ways." Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors--using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates--but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer's lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world's best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.
The Developing Genome
An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics
Paperback ISBN: 0190675659
Why do we grow up to look, act, and feel as we do? Through most of the twentieth century, scientists and laypeople answered this question by referring to two factors alone: our experiences and our genes. But recent discoveries about how genes work have revealed a new way to understand the developmental origins of our characteristics. These discoveries have emerged from the new science of behavioral epigenetics--and just as the whole world has now heard of DNA, "epigenetics" will be a household word in the near future. Behavioral epigenetics is important because it explains how our experiences get under our skin and influence the activity of our genes. Because of breakthroughs in this field, we now know that the genes we're born with don't determine if we'll end up easily stressed, likely to fall ill with cancer, or possessed of a powerful intellect. Instead, what matters is what our genes do. And because research in behavioral epigenetics has shown that our experiences influence how our genes function, this work has changed how scientists think about nature, nurture, and human development. Diets, environmental toxins, parenting styles, and other environmental factors all influence genetic activity through epigenetic mechanisms; this discovery has the potential to alter how doctors treat diseases, and to change how mental health professionals treat conditions from schizophrenia to post-traumatic stress disorder. These advances could also force a reworking of the theory of evolution that dominated twentieth-century biology, and even change how we think about human nature itself. In spite of the importance of this research, behavioral epigenetics is still relatively unknown to non-biologists. The Developing Genome is an introduction to this exciting new discipline; it will allow readers without a background in biology to learn about this work and its revolutionary implications.
Paperback ISBN: 1848312954
Introducing Genetics takes readers on a journey through this new science to the discovery of DNA and the heart of the human gene map. In everyday life, many of us increasingly have to make moral decisions where genetics plays a part. This book gives us the information to do so.
The Selfish Gene
3rd Edition Paperback ISBN: 0199291152
Offering an exposition of evolutionary thought, this book articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. Bringing insights of Neo-Darwinism, it aims to galvanize the biology community and generate much debate.
Survival of the Sickest
The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity
Paperback ISBN: 0060889667
Invites readers to change their perceptions about illness in order to understand disease as an essential component of the evolutionary process, citing the role of such malaises as diabetes, STDs, and the Avian Bird Flu in protecting the survival of the human race. Reprint.
The Double Helix
A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
Paperback ISBN: 0393950751
Since its publication in 1968, The Double Helix has given countless readers a rare and exciting look at one highly significant piece of scientific research--Watson and Crick's race to discover the molecular structure of DNA. In this Norton Critical Edition, Watson's lively and irreverent account is placed in historical perspective by Gunther Stent's introduction and by retrospective views from two major figures in the adventure, Francis Crick and Linus Pauling, and by Rosalind Franklin's last student, Aaron Klug. Background materials include reproductions of the original scientific papers in which the double helical structure of DNA was first presented in 1953 and 1954. In Criticism, which begins with "A Review of the Reviews" by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson's story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and AndrÃ© Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson.