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Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23…

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (1999)

by Matt Ridley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Some parts of this book were very enlightening, thought provoking, and awe inspiring. Other times when writing about something I knew about, the treatment was simplistic. The author also displays some prejudice on topics of nurture and psychotherapy. ( )
  snash | Feb 2, 2019 |
Not a new book but still listed as one of the best overviews. In fact tells about a lot more than genomes: learning, the nature of scientific truth, basis of morals, the road towards cancer cure, origins of human intelligence - the whole shebang. He gets slated here and there as a Right wing thub-tumper, but there’s little trace of that here. And he writes of complex matters with refreshing translucency. ( )
  vguy | Apr 7, 2018 |
Originally published in 2000 right before the first draft of the human genome was turned in, [b:Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters|4591|Genome the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters|Matt Ridley|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1362958533s/4591.jpg|1987129] is showing its age (the newer edition published in 2006 might be more current, but the library didn't have it). Still a fascinating book, though- especially as a snapshot of the promised insights that people hoped to glean from reading the genetic code. Alas, genetic cures haven't quite been realized nor is 'junk' DNA as useless as we thought, but man. Progression of time! I also thought the chromosomes-as-chapters idea was interesting, especially bringing up genes related to the topics mentioned for most. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 30, 2017 |
You should read this. End transmission. ( )
  Laurelyn | Oct 20, 2017 |
The autobiography of a species in 23 chapters
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Matt Ridleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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All forms that perish other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
First words
In the beginning was the word.
When I began writing this book, the human genome was still a largely unexplored landscape.
Whereas English books are written in words of variable lengths using twenty-three letters, genomes are written entirely in three-letter words, using only four letters: A, C, G, and T (which stand for adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine).
(p. 8)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060894083, Paperback)

Science writer Matt Ridley has found a way to tell someone else's story without being accused of plagiarism. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters delves deep within your body (and, to be fair, Ridley's too) looking for dirt dug up by the Human Genome Project. Each chapter pries one gene out of its chromosome and focuses on its role in our development and adult life, but also goes further, exploring the implications of genetic research and our quickly changing social attitudes toward this information. Genome shies away from the "tedious biochemical middle managers" that only a nerd could love and instead goes for the A-material: genes associated with cancer, intelligence, sex (of course), and more.

Readers unfamiliar with the jargon of genetic research needn't fear; Ridley provides a quick, clear guide to the few words and concepts he must use to translate hard science into English. His writing is informal, relaxed, and playful, guiding the reader so effortlessly through our 23 chromosomes that by the end we wish we had more. He believes that the Human Genome Project will be as world-changing as the splitting of the atom; if so, he is helping us prepare for exciting times--the hope of a cure for cancer contrasts starkly with the horrors of newly empowered eugenicists. Anyone interested in the future of the body should get a head start with the clever, engrossing Genome. --Rob Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Looks at one newly described gene from each of the twenty-three human chromosomes and explains how each one contributes to our uniqueness as a species.

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