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The gene an intimate history

by Mukherjee, Siddhartha.

Format: Kindle Book 2016 2016
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Summary
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author draws on his scientific knowledge and research to describe the magisterial history of a scientific idea, the quest to decipher the master-code of instructions that makes and defines humans; that governs our form, function, and fate; and that determines the future of our children. The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds--from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome--unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children--Adapted from dust jacket.
Contents
Prologue: Families
"The missing science of heredity" 1865-1935
"In the sum of the parts, there are only the parts" 1930-1970
"The dreams of geneticits" 1970-2001
"The proper study of mankind is man" 1970-2005
Through the looking glass 2001-2015
Post-genome 2015-...
Epilogue: Bheda, Abheda.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* How do you take the basic building block of humanity and explore the towering edifices and entire disciplines it has fostered over the years since the gene or at least the idea of it first became known to man? If you're Mukherjee (The Laws of Medicine, 2015), a Pulitzer-winning writer and physician, you distill the ideas down to something relatable, in this case, family. A cousin relegated to a mental institution in India because of schizophrenia leads Mukherjee into an astute and detailed exploration of the many facets of the gene. Comparisons to Mukherjee's prizewinning biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies (2010), are bound to be made, especially since the author himself shares that he wanted to illuminate what normalcy looks like before a cell tips into malignancy. The sheer panorama of topics covered from Mendel's experiments to Darwin, eugenics, the Human Genome Project, and cloning, as he dissects each and every aspect of the gene can get dizzying, and the periodic allusions to Mukherjee's family can feel belabored. But there is no doubt that this compelling volume will be the last word on the subject, at least until the next breakthrough in this endlessly fascinating field of science. Highly recommended. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Following Ken Burns' documentary film based on his book about cancer, Mukherjee remains in the spotlight as a top medical writer, and his ambitious new book will be strongly promoted with a national tour and media campaign.--Apte, Poornima Copyright 2016 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Veteran voice actor Boutsikaris's talents are on full display in the audio edition of the latest from oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mukherjee. He uses vocal flexibility to stress phrases, words, and even syllables to illuminate the grand tale of how scientists have come to understand the role genes play in human development, behavior, and physiology. Boutsikaris has such control of grammatical structure that every sentence, no matter the length, is clear, and he includes frequent transitional pauses that help the listener retain focus all the way through Mukherjee's complex but fascinating narrative, chronicling breakthroughs in the quest to understand human heredity, from the work of Darwin and Mendel to current research in the field of genetics. A Scribner hardcover. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Heredity
Genetics History
Genes
Sociology
Nonfiction
Medical
History
Electronic books.
Publisher New York :Scribner2016
2016
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: Kobo eBook
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle or Kobo eBook
Description 1 online resource
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 551-554) and index.
ISBN 9781476733531
9781476733531
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