Saxons, Vikings, and Celts
The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland
Paperback ISBN: 0393330753
An illuminating study of the genetic history of the British Isles, based on a systematic, decade-long DNA survey, traces the genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants, taking into consideration such events as the Roman invasions and Norman conquest and ranging from prehistoric times to the genetic heritage of Americans of British descent. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
The Genius in All of Us
New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ
Paperback ISBN: 0307387305
With irresistibly persuasive vigor, David Shenk debunks the long-standing notion of genetic “giftedness,” and presents dazzling new scientific research showing how greatness is in the reach of every individual. DNA does not make us who we are. “Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence,” he writes. “In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance.” Integrating cutting-edge research from a wide swath of disciplines—cognitive science, genetics, biology, child development—Shenk offers a highly optimistic new view of human potential. The problem isn't our inadequate genetic assets, but our inability, so far, to tap into what we already have. IQ testing and widespread acceptance of “innate” abilities have created an unnecessarily pessimistic view of humanity—and fostered much misdirected public policy, especially in education. The truth is much more exciting. Genes are not a “blueprint” that bless some with greatness and doom most of us to mediocrity or worse. Rather our individual destinies are a product of the complex interplay between genes and outside stimuli-a dynamic that we, as people and as parents, can influence. This is a revolutionary and optimistic message. We are not prisoners of our DNA. We all have the potential for greatness. From the Hardcover edition.
Breathing Race into the Machine
The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0816683573
In the antebellum South, plantation physicians used a new medical device—the spirometer—to show that lung volume and therefore vital capacity were supposedly less in black slaves than in white citizens. At the end of the Civil War, a large study of racial difference employing the spirometer appeared to confirm the finding, which was then applied to argue that slaves were unfit for freedom. What is astonishing is that this example of racial thinking is anything but a historical relic. In Breathing Race into the Machine, science studies scholar Lundy Braun traces the little-known history of the spirometer to reveal the social and scientific processes by which medical instruments have worked to naturalize racial and ethnic differences, from Victorian Britain to today. Routinely a factor in clinical diagnoses, preemployment physicals, and disability estimates, spirometers are often “race corrected,
The Tangled Tree
A Radical New History of Life
Hardcover ISBN: 1476776628
Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life’s history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature. The Tangled Tree features an eight-page insert with black and white art throughout. In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen, “one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling” (Nature), chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health. “Quammen is no ordinary writer. He is simply astonishing, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, ingenuity, humor, guts, and great heart” (Elle). Now, in The Tangled Tree, he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life—including where we humans fit upon it. Thanks to new technologies such as CRISPR, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition—through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant guide to our transformed understanding of evolution, of life’s history, and of our own human nature.
The Psychobiology of Gene Expression
Neuroscience and Neurogenesis in Hypnosis and the Healing Arts
Hardcover ISBN: 0393703436
Genes are not some deeply buried and esoteric treasure that only scientists with flashing lights can perceive, says Rossi, but express themselves every moment of life in response to everything that stirs curiosity, wonder, and fascination. He suggests how fellow working psychotherapists can use that insight to create a new vision of the role of culture, the humanities, and the arts in facilitating novelty, neurogenesis, and healing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Violinist's Thumb
And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, As Written by Our Genetic Code
Paperback ISBN: 0316182338
An exploration of human DNA and the stories it can tell describes how genes can explain why JFK's skin was bronze, Einstein was a genius, and why people with exceptional thumb flexibility can become world-class violinists.
Dna is You!
The Marvelous Science Behind Your One-Of-A-Kind-Ness
Hardcover ISBN: 1721400176
Learn all about how your DNA makes you who you are—an awesome, unique individual—in this fun and simple illustrated guide! Did you know your sense of purpose is determined by your genes? And that DNA determines your reaction to poison ivy, and maybe even your sex drive? In DNA Is You!, the author behind Beatrice the Biologist uses her trademark humor to break down the ins and outs of DNA to give you the low-down on each trait, one by one. She provides the answers to questions like: how dependent are traits on your parents’ genes? Are they based on mutations or influenced by the environment? What kind of studies have been performed on genetics, and what have they discovered? Home DNA tests are more popular than ever, and DNA Is You! takes a look at the weird and wild scientific factors that can change your genes—like that dimples are dominant, how someone gets two different eye colors, and which genes determine whether or not you’ll need glasses. Learn more about how you got to be who you are with DNA Is You! and understand yourself—and your family—a little bit better!
Life at the Extremes of Our Capacity
Hardcover ISBN: 1501168711
From evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper, an awe-inspiring look into the extremes of human ability—and what they tell us about our own potential. In 1997, an endurance runner named Yiannis Kouros ran 188 miles in twenty-four hours. Akira Haraguchi, a sixty year-old man in Tokyo, can recite pi to the 100,000th decimal point. John Nunn was accepted to Oxford University at age 15, the youngest undergraduate in 500 years. After a horrific attack by her estranged husband, Carmen Tarleton was left with burns to over eighty percent of her body. One of her surgeons said her injuries “were beyond anything we have ever seen.” After a three-month coma, multiple skin grafts, and successful face transplant, Tarleton is now a motivational speaker. What does it feel like to be exceptional? And what does it take to get there? Why can some people achieve greatness when others can’t, no matter how hard they try? Just how much potential does our species have? Evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper has the answers. In Superhuman he takes us on a breathtaking tour of the peaks of human achievement that shows us what it feels like to be extraordinary—and what it takes to get there. Drawing on interviews with these “superhumans” and those who have studied them, Hooper assesses the science and genetics of peak potential. His case studies are as inspirational as they are varied, highlighting feats of endurance, strength, intelligence, and memory. Superhuman is a fascinating, eye-opening, and inspiring celebration for anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in the sublime possibilities of humankind.