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A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a 'self' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading. After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons - essentially mini-brains - Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity's deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves. In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the 'self' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be 'downloaded' to a computer, he return us to the body - to flesh and blood - and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil. How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves - but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.
'Mind-blowing ... It is a hugely important book ... His story is crucial' Matt Ridley, The Times One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility. A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.
The genetic history of the dog is a sensational example of the co-evolution of two species, man and wolf, to each other's mutual benefit. But how did this ancient partnership begin? To answer this question, Professor Bryan Sykes identifies tantalising clues in the recently mapped genetic makeup of both species. Sykes paints a vivid picture of the dog as an ancient and essential ally. While undoubtedly it was the mastery of fire, language and agriculture that propelled Homo sapiens from a scarce, medium-sized primate to the position we enjoy today, Sykes crucially credits a fourth element for this success: the transformation of the wolf into the multi-purpose helpmate that is the dog. Drawing upon archaeology, history and genetics, Sykes shows how humans evolved to become the dominant species on Earth, but only with the help of our canine companions.
The past few years have seen a revolution in our ability to map whole genome DNA from ancient humans. With the ancient DNA revolution, combined with rapid genome mapping of present human populations, has come remarkable insights into our past. This important new data has clarified and added to our knowledge from archaeology and anthropology, helped resolve long-existing controversies, challenged long-held views, and thrown up some remarkable surprises. The emerging picture is one of many waves of ancient human migrations, so that all populations existing today are mixes of ancient ones, as well as in many cases carrying a genetic component from Neanderthals, and, in some populations, Denisovans. David Reich, whose team has been at the forefront of these discoveries, explains what the genetics is telling us about ourselves and our complex and often surprising ancestry. Gone are old ideas of any kind of racial 'purity', or even deep and ancient divides between peoples. Instead, we are finding a rich variety of mixtures. Reich describes the cutting-edge findings from the past few years, and also considers the sensitivities involved in tracing ancestry, with science sometimes jostling with politics and tradition. He brings an important wider message: that we should celebrate our rich diversity, and recognize that every one of us is the result of a long history of migration and intermixing of ancient peoples, which we carry as ghosts in our DNA. What will we discover next?
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and A New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Our understanding of the `tree of life', with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed. This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth - through molecular phylogenetics. It involves a fairly simple method - the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms. For instance, we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection. In The Tangled Tree, acclaimed science writer David Quammen 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 explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life - including where we humans fit into it. Thanks to new technologies, 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 exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life's history itself.
This book describes the biomedical information of albinism to determine the disability of the genetic disorder in albinism (Chapter 1).
Secondly, it describes the international and regional frameworks of disability (Chapter 2). Thirdly, it analyses the human rights perspective of disability as related to albinism (Chapter 3). Human rights apply to all human beings regardless of disability, and focus will be on the relevant Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Fourthly, the book demonstrates the understanding of albinism through beliefs, cultures and superstitions (Chapter 4).
The book suggests a way forward, intending to provide some suggestions and recommendations to improve the life of person with disabilities in general and albinism in particular (Chapter 5).
Finally, the role of non-governmental organisations is analysed - which is to raise awareness, boost the self-esteem of their members, advocate for their needs and possibly lobby for an inclusive society (Chapter 6).
Unravelling the Double Helix covers the most colourful period in the history of DNA, from the discovery of 'nuclein' in the late 1860s to the landmark publication of James Watson's The Double Helix in 1968. These hundred years included the advent of the Nobel Prize, antibiotics, X-ray crystallography and the atom bomb as well as two devastating world wars - events which are strung along the narrative thread of DNA like beads on a necklace. The story of DNA is a saga packed with awful mistakes as well as brilliant science, with a wonderful cast of heroes and villains. Surprisingly, much of it is unfamiliar. The elucidation of the double helix was one of the most brilliant gems of twentieth-century science, but some of the scientists who played crucial roles have been airbrushed out of history. Others were plunged into darkness when the spotlight fell on James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin. Watson and Crick solved a magnificent mystery, but Gareth Williams shows that their contribution was to click into place the last few pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle assembled over several decades.
Thoroughly updated and incorporating the most important advances in the fast-growing field of cancer biology, The Biology of Cancer, Second Edition, maintains all of its hallmark features admired by students, instructors, researchers, and clinicians around the world. The Biology of Cancer is a textbook for students studying the molecular and cellular bases of cancer at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels. The principles of cancer biology are presented in an organized, cogent, and in-depth manner. The clarity of writing, supported by an extensive full-color art program and numerous pedagogical features, makes the book accessible and engaging. The information unfolds through the presentation of key experiments that give readers a sense of discovery and provide insights into the conceptual foundation underlying modern cancer biology. The new Second Edition has been comprehensively revised and updated to include major advances in cancer biology over the past six years. Updates include current information on: The tumor microenvironment Metastatic dissemination Tumor immunology Cancer stem cells The epithelial-mesenchymal transition Multi-step tumorigenesis Invasion and metastasis Mutation of cancer cell genomes Greatly expanded treatment of traditional therapy Epigenetic contributions MicroRNA involvement The Warburg effect Besides its value as a textbook, The Biology of Cancer is a useful reference for individuals working in biomedical laboratories and for clinical professionals. Every copy of the book comes with an updated "Pathways in Human Cancer" poster and a DVD-ROM containing the book's art program, a greatly expanded selection of movies, audio file mini-lectures, Supplementary Sidebars, and a Media Guide.
The New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Indie Bound Bestseller
'Those who like to insist that blood is always thicker than water should read Inheritance, and let their own hearts slowly and gently expand.'-- The Observer
'All my life I had known there was a secret. What I hadn't known: the secret was me.'
In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. Everything she had believed about her identity was a lie.
Shapiro's parents had died when she was in her twenties. With only a handful of figures on a webpage, Shapiro sets out to discover the truth about herself and her history.
Inheritance is a genetic detective story; a memoir that reads like a thriller. It is a book about secrets -secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
Full of fascinating and bizarre cases of genetic mutation and irregularity, `Mutants' is an amazing exploration of the human form in all its beautiful and unique guises. Why are most of us born with one nose, two legs, ten fingers and twenty-four ribs - and some of us not? Why do most of us stop growing in our teens - while others just keep going? Why do some us have heads of red hair - and others no hair at all? The human genome, we are told, makes us what we are. But how? Armand Marie Leroi takes us to the extremes of human mutation - from the grotesque to the beautiful, and often both at the same time - to explain how we become what we are. Through the tales of long-lived Croatian dwarves, ostrich-footed Wadoma tribesmen, sex-changing French convent girls, and many more wonders of human development, Leroi has written a brilliant narrative account of our genetic grammar and people whose bodies have revealed it.
Men, towards the end of the last millennium, felt a sudden tightening of the bowels with the news that the services of their sex had at last been dispensed with. Dolly the Sheep - conceived without male assistance - had arrived. Her birth reminded at least half the population of how precarious man's position may be. What is the point of being a man? For a brief and essential instant he is a donor of DNA; but outside that glorious moment his role is hard to understand. This book is about science not society; about maleness not manhood. The condition is, in the end, a matter of biology, whatever limits that science may have in explaining the human condition. Today's advances in medicine and in genetics mean at last we understand why men exist and why they are so frequent. We understand from hormones to hydraulics how man's machinery works, why he dies so young and how his brain differs from that of the rest of mankind.
The increased and widespread availability of large network data resources in recent years has resulted in a growing need for effective methods for their analysis. The challenge is to detect patterns that provide a better understanding of the data. However, this is not a straightforward task because of the size of the data sets and the computer power required for the analysis. The solution is to devise methods for approximately answering the questions posed, and these methods will vary depending on the data sets under scrutiny. This cutting-edge text introduces biological concepts and biotechnologies producing the data, graph and network theory, cluster analysis and machine learning, before discussing the thought processes and creativity involved in the analysis of large-scale biological and medical data sets, using a wide range of real-life examples. Bringing together leading experts, this text provides an ideal introduction to and insight into the interdisciplinary field of network data analysis in biomedicine.
One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility. A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.
Acclaimed author Matt Ridley traces the colourful life of the man who discovered the structure of DNA, the building blocks of life. Building on a biographical tradition that can be traced back to Aubrey's `Brief Lives', Dr Johnson's `Lives of the Poets' and Lytton Strachey's `Eminent Victorians', this exciting and ground-breaking new series pairs great biographers, historians and novelists with iconic subjects, the writing bristling with original and distinctive points of view. On 28 February 1953, Francis Crick walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge and announced that he and his American colleague James Watson `had found the secret of life'. In fact, they had indeed done so. That morning, Crick and Watson had worked out the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). They had discovered its 'double helix' form, one which could replicate itself, confirming theories that it carried life's hereditary information. Matt Ridley's life of Crick begins with his birth in 1916 at the home of a shoe factory owner, his early explosive experiments at primary school and time developing torpedoes in the Navy. After his seismic DNA discovery, which won him the Nobel Prize before he'd even gained a PhD, the scientist's later work was rarely uncontroversial. From California, he proposed that life began when micro-organisms from another planet were dropped here by a spaceship sent to Earth, and maintained that the 'human soul' was entirely explicable in terms of brain activity. Matt Ridley's entertaining account traces the colourful and entirely original work behind one of mankind's greatest discoveries and displays the life of a scientist considered of the very first rank.
Genetic science is about to radically alter our lives. Sooner than you can imagine, human beings will be capable of diagnosing their own illnesses, designating the sex of their children, even designing the food they eat -- all as easily as using a cell phone. Now is the time for every one of us to take control of our DNA, and one man is uniquely qualified to show us how: Glenn McGee, bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, pioneer in the study of "home genetics," and the acknowledged wunderkind of the exciting world found at the nexus of life science and computer technology.
One of the most respected authorities in the field of genomics -- the study of the genetic "software" inside plants, animals, and us -- McGee takes us on an eye-opening journey behind the headlines and into the heart of this formidable cutting-edge science. Probing the far-ranging ethical and legal implications of genomic research, McGee tackles its most controversial and hotly debated aspects -- from patenting your DNA to genetic engineering at the supermarket -- and explodes unnecessary fears about this wondrous new knowledge.
We live in a brave new world. Beyond Genetics provides us with the knowledge we need to take the right steps forward into tomorrow ... and beyond.
Genetics is the study of heredity, and reveals how the characteristics of living organisms are determined by the genes passed down the generations. The human genome was mapped in 2003, and this enhanced ability to study our genes is transforming medicine, from CRISPR, the gene editing technology that allows us to alter the course of hereditary disease, to using genetics to identify the types of bacteria that populate our bodies. Stripping the subject to its bare necessities, 30-Second Genetics charts the most extraordinary discoveries, from the fundamentals of cell biology to the almost unbelievable advances in DNA sequencing and stem cell technology.
This new third edition updates a best-selling encyclopedia. It includes about 56% more words than the 1,392-page second edition of 2003. The number of illustrations increased to almost 2,000 and their quality has improved by design and four colors. In addition, cross-references among entries are expanded and the statements are supported by references: more than 14,000 journal papers and more than 3,000 books are listed. The book includes approximately 1,800 current databases and web servers. Retractions and corrigenda are pointed out.This encyclopedia covers the basics and the latest in genomics, proteomics, genetic engineering, small RNAs, transcription factories, chromosome territories, stem cells, genetic networks, epigenetics, prions, hereditary diseases, and patents. Similar integrated information is not available in textbooks or on the Internet.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
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, award-winning science writer Carl Zimmer argues, 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 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 together 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.
This new series presents innovative titles pertaining to human origins, evolution, and behavior from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Subject areas include but are not limited to biological and physical anthropology, prehistoric archaeology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary biology. The series volumes will be of interest primarily to students and scholars in these fields.
Until twenty years ago we had no idea which of our genes came from our father and which came from our mother. We took it for granted that our genes expressed themselves identically and that there was a 50/50 chance that they came from either parent. We also assumed that they worked in cooperation with each other. The biggest breakthrough in genetics in the past two decades has been the discovery of genomic imprinting, which allows us to trace genes to the parent of origin. David Haig has been at the forefront of theorizing these developments arguing that these "paternally and maternally active genes" comprising less than one percent of our total gene count are far from being cooperative, and have in fact been shown to be in competition with one another. If Haig's theory is correct, imprinted genes provide an extraordinary example of within-individual conflict, which is one of the most surprising developments in evolutionary biology in recent years. Examples like this are shaking up our fundamental ideas of what it means to be an individual.
This collection of Haig's papers provides a unique comprehensive overview of what is known. Each paper is followed by a commentary that links it to the others, provides background as needed, and brings readers up-to-date on developments thatoccurred after the paper's original publication. Because genomic imprinting raises questions across various fields in the life sciences, including evolutionary biology and developmental genetics, Haig's work is scattered through the literature to an unusual degree, and has never been collected in one volume.
The Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB) 2017 is an international, multidisciplinary conference for the presentation and discussion of current research in the theory and application of computational methods in problems of biological significance. Presentations are rigorously peer reviewed and are published in an archival proceedings volume. PSB 2017 will be held on January 4 - 8, 2017 in Kohala Coast, Hawaii. Tutorials and workshops will be offered prior to the start of the conference.PSB 2017 will bring together top researchers from the US, the Asian Pacific nations, and around the world to exchange research results and address open issues in all aspects of computational biology. It is a forum for the presentation of work in databases, algorithms, interfaces, visualization, modeling, and other computational methods, as applied to biological problems, with emphasis on applications in data-rich areas of molecular biology.The PSB has been designed to be responsive to the need for critical mass in sub-disciplines within biocomputing. For that reason, it is the only meeting whose sessions are defined dynamically each year in response to specific proposals. PSB sessions are organized by leaders of research in biocomputing's 'hot topics.' In this way, the meeting provides an early forum for serious examination of emerging methods and approaches in this rapidly changing field.
A concise, clear writing style and a detailed and rich coverage of topics are the reasons that students found the first edition of the book so engaging and useful.Riding on this wave, all chapters within the second edition of this popular book have been thoroughly updated and expanded, especially the human and animal materials. A wider range of animals is covered, including dogs and cats as well as farm animals. The use of cord blood for therapy, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and animal cloning are also explored and dealt with.
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