DNA, the genetic blueprint of all creatures, is a stunningly rich and detailed record of evolution. Every change or new trait, from the gaudy colors of tropical birds to our color vision with which we admire them, is due to changes in DNA that leave a record and can be traced. Just as importantly, the DNA evidence has revealed several profound surprises about how evolution actually works.
An illustrated introduction to genetics.
The Secret Life of Genes is the story of genetic science and how it makes each of us unique. It spans the discovery of the gene and the all-encompassing role it plays in biology: from controlling the inner workings of cells and the development of embryos, through patterns of inheritance, to the evolution of new forms of life. From there developed the vast and boundless field of genetic science and research.
Readers will get a sneak peek into the Human Genome Project, the international scientific research project with the goal of determining the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA. From this, scientists identified and mapped all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint, and opened a Pandora's box of secrets: the hidden workings of the human genome; how gene switching, junk DNA, and genetic mutation might be affecting our everyday lives; and why patents are soaring for genetic inventions.
The Secret Life of Genes is written in accessible language and organized for easy comprehension. It opens with the basics and the key theories, goes on to describe DNA sequencing and what we can do with it. It then looks at the history of the world's DNA and gives readers an exciting glimpse of the future of the field.
Kindred is important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.--The New York Times Book ReviewA] bold and magnificent attempt to resurrect our Neanderthal kin.--The Wall Street Journal In Kindred, Neanderthal expert Rebecca Wragg Sykes shoves aside the clich of the shivering ragged figure in an icy wasteland, and reveals the Neanderthal you don't know, our ancestor who lived across vast and diverse tracts of Eurasia and survived through hundreds of thousands of years of massive climate change. This book sheds new light on where they lived, what they ate, and the increasingly complex Neanderthal culture that researchers have discovered. Since their discovery 150 years ago, Neanderthals have gone from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Our perception of the Neanderthal has changed dramatically, but despite growing scientific curiosity, popular culture fascination, and a wealth of coverage in the media and beyond are we getting the whole story? The reality of 21st century Neanderthals is complex and fascinating, yet remains virtually unknown and inaccessible outside the scientific literature. Based on the author's first-hand experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research and theory, this easy-to-read but information-rich book lays out the first full picture we have of the Neanderthals, from amazing new discoveries changing our view of them forever, to the more enduring mysteries of how they lived and died, and the biggest question of them all: their relationship with modern humans.
Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands of readers to rethink their beliefs about life.
In his internationally bestselling, now classic volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.
This revised edition of Dawkins' fascinating book contains two new chapters. One, entitled "Nice Guys Finish First," demonstrates how cooperation can evolve even in a basically selfish world. The other new chapter, entitled "The Long Reach of the Gene," which reflects the arguments presented in Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype, clarifies the startling view that genes may reach outside the bodies in which they dwell and manipulate other individuals and even the world at large. Containing a wealth of remarkable new insights into the biological world, the second edition once again drives home the fact that truth is stranger than fiction.
In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Euan Ashley, Stanford professor of medicine and genetics, brings the breakthroughs of precision medicine to vivid life through the real diagnostic journeys of his patients and the tireless efforts of his fellow doctors and scientists as they hunt to prevent, predict, and beat disease.Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, the price of genome sequencing has dropped at a staggering rate. It's as if the price of a Ferrari went from $350,000 to a mere forty cents. Through breakthroughs made by Dr. Ashley's team at Stanford and other dedicated groups around the world, analyzing the human genome has decreased from a heroic multibillion dollar effort to a single clinical test costing less than $1,000. For the first time we have within our grasp the ability to predict our genetic future, to diagnose and prevent disease before it begins, and to decode what it really means to be human. In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley details the medicine behind genome sequencing with clarity and accessibility. More than that, with passion for his subject and compassion for his patients, he introduces readers to the dynamic group of researchers and doctor detectives who hunt for answers, and to the pioneering patients who open up their lives to the medical community during their search for diagnoses and cures. He describes how he led the team that was the first to analyze and interpret a complete human genome, how they broke genome speed records to diagnose and treat a newborn baby girl whose heart stopped five times on the first day of her life, and how they found a boy with tumors growing inside his heart and traced the cause to a missing piece of his genome. These patients inspire Dr. Ashley and his team as they work to expand the boundaries of our medical capabilities and to envision a future where genome sequencing is available for all, where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level, and where our medical system as we know it has been completely revolutionized.
The book describes the journey into the growing arena of clinical stem cell therapy by highlighting not only the road that brought a team of physicians together but also real stories from a number of their patients that were given their health back through the magic of stem cell therapy. Your fat is loaded with stem cells that can be used now to treat and reverse a large number of inflammatory and degenerative conditions. Most people have no idea that these magical cells actually exist right within our bodies. They think that they must wait until Big Pharma or a university PhD manufactures them from embryos. Yet the Cell Surgical Network, under the guidance of Drs. Berman and Lander, has been gathering investigational data that shows your cells are safe and effective in a large variety of clinical conditions. Almost any condition caused by damage or degradation of your own body cells has the potential for being improved using stem cells. And the potential actually exists to use your own cells to extend your life in a healthy, functional manner. The stem cell revolution train has left the station.
Part of the acclaimed Eminent Lives series, Francis Crick is the first biography of the eminent scientist, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA. Written by Matt Ridley, the award-winning author of the national bestseller Genome, Francis Crick traces his life from middle class mediocrity in the English Midlands through a lackluster education and six years designing magnetic mines for the Royal Navy to his leap into biology at the age of 31 and his enormous success, providing "a considerably more complete and colorful portrait of Crick than has existed before." (New York Times)