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.
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.
Me, Myself, and Why
Searching for the Science of Self
Paperback ISBN: 0143121650
"A fascinating survey of the forces that shape who we are and how we act-from the author of The Calculus Diaries Following her previous tours through the worlds of physics (Black Bodies and Quantum Cats) and calculus (The Calculus Diaries), acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ouellette now turns her attention to the mysteries of human identity and behavior with Me, Myself, and Why. She draws on genetics, neuroscience, and psychology-enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor and pop-culture references-to explore how we become who we are. Ouellette lets readers in on her own surprising journey of self-discover, as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel's famous pea plant experiments and mutations in The X-Men to our taste in food and our relationship with avatars and our online selves, Ouellette delivers another fun and enlightening work of popular science that's sure to be enjoyed by her many fans"--
On Genetic Variety and the Human body
Paperback ISBN: 0142004820
A study of congenital disease and some of the famous individuals whose lives were affected by congenital abnormalities describes a village of long-lived Croatian dwarves, a hair-covered Burmese royal court family, the ostrich-footed Wadoma of the Zambezi River valley, and others. Reprint.
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.
It Ain't Necessarily So
The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions
Paperback ISBN: 0940322951
Is our nature—as individuals, as a species—determined by our evolution and encoded in our genes? If we unravel the protein sequences of our DNA, will we gain the power to cure all of our physiological and psychological afflictions and even to solve the problems of our society? Today biologists—especially geneticists—are proposing answers to questions that have long been asked by philosophy or faith or the social sciences. Their work carries the weight of scientific authority and attracts widespread public attention, but it is often based on what the renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin identifies as a highly reductive misconception: "the pervasive error that confuses the genetic state of an organism with its total physical and psychic nature as a human being." In these nine essays covering the history of modern biology from Darwin to Dolly the sheep, all of which were originally published in The New York Review of Books, Lewontin combines sharp criticisms of overreaching scientific claims with lucid expositions of the exact state of current scientific knowledge—not only what we do know, but what we don't and maybe won't anytime soon. Among the subjects he discusses are heredity and natural selection, evolutionary psychology and altruism, nineteenth-century naturalist novels, sex surveys, cloning, and the Human Genome Project. In each case he casts an ever-vigilant and deflationary eye on the temptation to look to biology for explanations of everything we want to know about our physical, mental, and social lives. These essays—several of them updated with epilogues that take account of scientific developments since they were first written—are an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today. The second edition of this collection includes new essays on genetically modified food and the completion of the Human Genome Project. It is an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today.
How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 1455549444
An award-winning scientist, physician, and New York Times best-selling author explains new concepts in human genetics and health that indicate that the fundamental nature of the human genome is much more fluid and flexible than originally thought. 75,000 first printing.
The Invisible History of the Human Race
How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures
Hardcover ISBN: 0670025550
"How biology, psychology, and history shape us as individuals We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the history of nations is written in ourDNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it"--Provided by publisher.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
Paperback ISBN: 1615194940
In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. (For example, we now know that at least four human species once roamed the earth.) Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas—one that’s still being written, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced. Rutherford closes with “A Short Introduction to the Future of Humankind,” filled with provocative questions that we’re on the cusp of answering: Are we still in the grasp of natural selection? Are we evolving for better or worse? And . . . where do we go from here?