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

by Matt Ridley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,078443,017 (4.08)47
The genome's been mapped. But what does it mean? Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Questions that will profoundly impact the way we think about disease, about longevity, and about free will. Questions that will affect the rest of your life. Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington's disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.… (more)
  1. 10
    The Science of Jurassic Park: And the Lost World Or, How to Build a Dinosaur by Rob Desalle (strande)
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    The Double Helix by James D. Watson (flissp)

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» See also 47 mentions

English (42)  Spanish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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. ( )
1 vote 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 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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
When I began writing this book, the human genome was still a largely unexplored landscape.
In the beginning was the word.
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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