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Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Mai 2006

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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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

?Remarkable. . . . Hops from one human chromosome to the next in search of the most delightful stories.?
--"New York Times Book Review
?A fascinating tour of the human genome. . . . If you want to catch a glimpse of the biotech century that is now dawning, and how it will make life better for us all, Genome is an excellent place to start.?
--"Wall Street Journal
?A superb writer whose exquisite, often moving descriptions of life's designs remind me of the best work of the late Lewis Thomas. . . . He crafts some of the clearest explanations of complex biological processes that I have encountered. What's more, he captures their slippery beauty.?
-- Susan Okie, "Washington Post Book World
?Ridley is a lucid, engaging and enthusiastic guide to the double-helical DNA that comprises our inheritable human essence.?
-- "Los Angeles Times Book Review
?Ridley can explain with equal verve difficult moral issues, philosophical quandaries and technical biochemistry; he distinguishes facts from opinions well, and he's not shy about offering either. Among many recent books on genes, behavior and evolution, Ridley's is one of the most informative. It's also the most fun to read.?
--"Publishers Weekly (starredreview)
?Superb popular science writing and cogent public affairs argumentation.?
--"Booklist (starred review)
?An engrossing account of the genetic history of our species. . . . This book will be particularly relevant to lay readers, providing insight into how far we have come and where we are heading in the understanding of our genetic heritage.?
--"Library Journal
?Ridley . . . deftly takes up the story of the genome in 23 chapters in clear entertaining prose. Eminently readable, compelling and important.?
--"Kirkus Reviews
?A lucid and exhilarating romp through our 23 human chromosomes that lets us see how nature and nature combine to make us human.?
--James Watson
?With riveting anecdotes, clever analogies and compelling writing, Matt Ridley makes the human genome come alive for us. I was left in awe at the wonder of the human body, and the scientists who unravel its mysteries.?
--Abraham Verghese, author of " The Tennis Partner
?Clever, up-to-the-minute informative, and an altogether spellbinding read. Ridley does just what a first-rate journalist should do: get it right, make in interesting, then wisely put it all in perspective.?
--SarahHardy, author of " Mother Nature
?"Genome is a tour de force: clear, witty, timely and informed by an intelligence that sees new knowledge as a blessing and not a curse. . . . A cracking read.?
--"Times (of London)
?Matt Ridley's brilliant new book is eloquent and up-to-date. . . . A much needed breath of fresh air.?
--"Daily Telegraph
?Compelling. . . . Spectacular. . . . This is one of those rare books in which the intellectual excitement continues to rise from what already seems an almost impossibly high plateau. . . . Not even the scientifically purblind will fail to perceive the momentous nature of the issues he raises.?
--"Spectator
? A dazzling work of popular science, offering clarity and inspiration. . . . Witty erudition.?
--"Guardian
?Erudition, intriguing sequences of anecdotes and . . . stylish prose. The combination has resulted in the best popular science book I have read this year, a worthy autobiography of mankind.?
--"Observer
?An exciting voyage . . . very much up-to-date . . . Ridley includes just the right amount of history and personal anecdote to spice up science. He's a good storyteller.?
-- "ScientificAmerican
?An extraordinarily nimble synthesist, Ridley leaps from chromosome to chromosome in a handy summation of our ever increasing understanding of the roles that genes play in disease, behavior, sexual differences, and even intelligence. More important, though, he addresses not only the ethical quandaries faced by contemporary scientists but the reductionist danger in equating inheritability with inevitability.?
-- "The New Yorker
?Matt Ridley [writes] with a combination of biblical awe, scientific curiosity and wit about what many consider the greatest scientific breakthrough of the 20th century and the greatest technological challenge of the 21st: the discovery of the molecular basis of life and its many applications in medicine, law, and commerce.?
-- "Dallas Morning News
?Thoroughly fascinating. . . . A sophisticated blending of science and public policy certain to educate, entertain, challenge and stimulate even the least technologically inclined reader.?
--"Philadephia Inquirer
?Lively phrasing and vivid analogies . . . I gained an appreciation for the incredible complexity of human beings.?
--"Minneapolis Star-Tribune
?With skillful writing and masterful knowledge of his subject matter, Ridley conveys a wealth of information about what we currentlyknow, or think we know, about the human genome?No well-educated person can afford to remain ignorant of this advancing science. GENOME provides a sound and engaging introduction.?
--Austin American-Statesman
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


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Kundenrezensionen

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Stephen A. Haines am 1. Juli 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In June of this year the prestigious Times of London headlined a story: 'Rogue gene kills Lakeland ponies'. GENOME attempts to forestall such misleading media expressions. Ridley, a talented writer, has his work cut out.
Once called 'the stupid molecule', DNA is revealing its secrets. The exposure is due to the work of many scientists and related to the public by fine writers such as Ridley. Still, we remain mostly in darkness about the role of genes in our lives. Media accounts such as The Times' bring little clarity. The recent debate among the members of Britain's ruling house is a more amusing, but typical, expression of this situation. Ignorance is a disease which no medicine relieves. Education is the antidote and Ridley has provided a palatable dose in GENOME. How many journalists, teachers and doctors are willing to swallow it?
The medical metaphor reflects the underlying theme of GENOME. Much genetic research focuses on medical issues. The biotech industry anticipates immense profit from therapies resulting from the completion of the Human Genome Project. Ridley cites numerous cases of genes being 'identified' with particular illnesses. In nearly all cases, the media trumpets the find with stories of 'genes for [schizophrenia, Huntington's haemophilia, fill in your own]. The public has come to feel these molecular strings in their cells are hidden assassins. The importance of reversing this misconception leads Ridley to declare GENES ARE NOT THERE TO CAUSE DISEASE throughout the book. One is led to wonder which gene drives people to write headlines protracting the reverse view.
Ridley keeps a fine balance in the 'genetic determinism' debate.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 18. Juli 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A simple review suits this book best. Aside from genomic professionals, we all likely need to understand more about what the mapping of (and understanding of) the human genome really means. In an entertaining, and understandable, way Matt Ridley offers GENOME as a way to allow you to understand the topic and its possible implications. They key to the book is the fact that much of what Ridley explains in the book about the implications of the mapping collectively are ONE OF THE BIGGEST EYE OPENERS that you can imagine. Likely nothing else in the world, in the next 100 years, will affect you and your children more than the knowledge that is coming from the mapping of the human genome.
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I didn't enjoy reading this book as much as I expected, but I picked-up a lot of interesting information from the book. The book is broken into 23 chapters, each with a fact about a gene on the chromosome being discussed. As the author describes the story, each chapter acts a whistle stop tour of the chromosome. It is certainly not a comprehensive tale of all that it known of the human Genome, rather it is a telling of those things that the author wants to relate, organized around the 23 chromosomes.
There's a real variety of information presented. Some of it mechanical, some of it historical, some of it antecdotal. I keep finding myself relaying information (or factoids) that I picked up from the book. So, from this perspective, I learned something and find myself reusing what I learned.
So far so good - right? Well, here's the criticism. I found the writing sometimes technical, the stories sometimes hard to follow, and the connecting of the dots by the author sometimes a stretch. As for the too technical objection - well, this is certainly understandable and what did I expect. The readability (or follow-ability) of the stories is another matter. Sometimes the stories are quite riveting and well-connected. Others, however, seem to follow tangents and have a tenuous relation to the chromosome.
The last criticism, where it seems that the author is connecting the dots, worried me some. I often realized that where I believed that I had been reading fact, I had actually been reading the authors ideas and conjecture. This would be fine were it clear that this is the case, but it wasn't always evident.
So, overall, I learned a great deal, but didn't always enjoy the book.
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The field of genetics is doubling knowledge every few weeks. So Matt Ridley had set himself an impossible task in writing one of the last books before the completion of the Human Genome project. Yet, he has created a book of unique value to all of us as the full impact of genetic knowledge begins to take over our world.
Forget 99 percent of what you have ever heard about genes. The school wasted your time with obsolete knowledge that wasn't in the ball park, in most cases.
What Ridley has done is given us a roadmap of the kind of territory and effects that occur within our genes, and among our minds, bodies, and genes. The interrelationships are extremely complex and diverse. Beware any simple judgments about what genetics mean, as a result.
What was most impressive to me was the remarkable potential to use genetic information to shed light on all kinds of issues. For example, the genetic record can give insights into the development of species, past expansion of nomadic peoples, language, personality, stress, memory, sex, instinct and the effect of the environment.
To give us each a full panoply of ideas about genetics, he adopted the interesting structure of having one chapter about each chromosome. The chapter is not exhaustive, but picks on one or a few aspects of what is known or is in the process of becoming known.
Fear not! I never took biology, and know little biological jargon. Yet the book portrayed the ideas and information simply and clearly enough that I don't think I got lost anywhere.
The only part of the book that I did not like was a completely unsatisfactory discussion of what free will is in the last chapter. Skip that and you'll enjoy the book a lot more.
How accurate is the book?
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