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The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. Februar 2004

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  • Taschenbuch: 240 Seiten
  • Verlag: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Auflage: Rh Trade PB. (17. Februar 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0812971469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812971460
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 1,3 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 249.244 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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The Journey of Man is not just some old fashioned sexist travelogue about a bloke in shorts and sandals wandering the byways of the world. As the subtitle explains, it is "a genetic odyssey" of men rather than women. We have heard a lot about the matriarchal "African Eve". As Spencer Wells says, we all have an African foremother who lived approximately 150,000 years ago. She handed down her genetic mitochondrial "handbag" specifically to her daughter and on over the generations and millennia. But what about the male contribution to today's human genome?

Luckily for the male ego and population geneticists it turns out that blokes also have some unique chromosomal hand baggage hidden away in the non-recombining part of the Y chromosome. Like female mitochondrial DNA it is passed solely between father and son and is particularly useful for studying human diversity. This is because it is so big--much bigger than mitochondrial DNA--and accumulates mutations at particular sites that can be relatively easily identified. By sampling the Y chromosome from men around the world the modern human diaspora can be mapped out both geographically and chronologically.

Spencer Wells is an American geneticist with impeccable credentials from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford universities and certainly knows his subject. Fortunately, he is also very good at explaining the science, which can be somewhat complicated at times. This fascinating and often surprising story originated as a television film and has benefited from being thoroughly worked out through first-hand experience around the world.

Accompanied by 24 pages of brilliant photos by Mark Read, an excellent list of further reading and an index, The Journey of Man is well worth getting to grips with. As Wells points out, each of us carries a unique chapter locked away inside our genome, and we owe it to ourselves and our descendants to discover what it is. Come on boys, this is our story and we ought to know the gist of it. Douglas Palmer -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


“Written with much verve, easy to read, and up-to-date on many important developments.”
—Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Stanford University, author of The History and Geography of Human Genes and Genes, Peoples, and Languages

"Spencer Wells, whose genetic work has contributed to our understanding of human prehistory, has provided an account of the spread and mixing of the human species from its origin in Africa that is both scientifically accurate and accessible to the nonscientist.”
—Richard Lewontin, Harvard University, author of It Ain’t Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions

“Wells traces our distant history with a mix of clarity and charm that’s rare among scientists. He makes the complexities of population genetics wonderfully clear.”
The New York Times Book Review

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von stefanw190 VINE-PRODUKTTESTER am 11. Juli 2003
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
While "African Eve" received much attention during the last 15 years, few books are available on her male counterpart. This book traces the history of the male Y-chromosome back to its African origins, and uses the regional distribution of its variations to support a detailed theory on world's population history.
The exposition is precise, but easily understandable to the layman. Nowhere in any history book could I find such a complete account of middle palaeolithic population movements.
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143 von 149 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How All of Us Got Here 6. Februar 2003
Von Rob Hardy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Archeologists dig all over the earth to find the history of people who existed too early to leave a written history. There is a new sort of archeology, however, that is changing our long-range view of human pre-history. Scientists are digging into cells, into the genes that everyone knows make us what we are. The details from this new research have given revolutionary insight into where humans came from, how they spread, and the origin and superficiality of races. In _The Journey of Man_ (Princeton University Press), Spencer Wells, a population geneticist, has written a wonderfully clear book of origins, drawing upon not just genes but history, geography, archeology, and linguistics.
In part, the book is a summary of refutations against the ideas of anthropologists who maintained that different races were subspecies that arose in different regions at different times. No such hypotheses could be tested in the time they were issued, and now they can. DNA in the cells from mitochondria, and the DNA in the male Y chromosome do not shuffle the way ordinary chromosomes do, and thus are very stable from one generation to the next. Mutations happen, and accumulate, and may be used to see how closely related humans from different regions of the world are. The genetic results of both mitochondrial and Y chromosome research confirm each other, and are unambiguous. We are all out of Africa. We stayed in Africa as humans for generations, and almost all the genetic variation we were going to get was within us at that time. Then around 40,000 years ago, propelled perhaps because of weather changes, we started our travels. _Journey_ has good diagrams, but a map showing the flow of different Y chromosome linkages around the world can be regarded with awe, for the history it shows and for the scientific advances that have made such a diagram possible.
Our current way of living has wrought changes in plenty of the subjects in this book. The trail of languages in many ways parallels the trail of genes around the world, but as we develop a global culture, languages are dying out at a faster rate than ever before. Also, there is greater mixing of genes from different cultures now that easy travel makes possible the meeting of members of tribes that would never have met before. It could be that we have passed the heyday for the sort of research reported here, as populations swap genes in unprecedented ways. Nonetheless, Wells's book is full of enthusiasm for basic research, and the results described here are fascinating. We can look back at our origins with new respect for how long and how strange a journey it has been, and with the increasing realization that that our one species has one shared history.
92 von 98 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Just Incredible 11. März 2003
Von rctnyc - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book will blow you away. In clear, easy-to-follow language, with helpful analogies, Wells describes a scientific and geographical journey wherein, by means of DNA analysis, he and his fellow scientists tracked the contemporary "Y" chromosome from two common ancestors in Africa to the DNA of every living human being. Unbelievably, there really was one "Adam" and one "Eve" -- although they lived more than 100,000 years apart -- whose descendants left Africa about 40,000 years ago and, over 2000 subsequent generations, were the origin of us all. The understanding that we are all related -- cousins many thousands of times removed, if you will -- may not have any immediate effect on politics and social relations, but it does put our human conflicts into a different context, as well as blast away most genetically-based theories of race. Although cultures may differ in many respects, and human beings may subscribe to different value and belief systems, we really are, genetically, one human family. I read this book cover-to-cover in one day, and found it fascinating, astonishing and inspiring. Kudos to Wells and his crew. Also, those of you who have kids who may be too young to follow the science in this book should try the video.
75 von 80 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good journey, lousy maps 9. Dezember 2004
Von A Movie Buff - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I enjoyed reading in this book how scientists worked out the migration patterns of prehistoric humans through the dissection of Y-chromosome (and the ladies' mtDNA too) genetic markers. The author's analogies to explain the various genetic theories are fairly good at explaining the concepts.

My problem with the paperback edition (I have not seen the hardcover)is that the maps are horrendous. They look like they were photocopied from color originals with a really old machine. I cannot read the text on the arrows of the Big Summary Map at all, and have been writing in the genetic markers on the map in the book as I go along to see if I can figure it out for myself. And I never, never, never write in my books. This is very frustrating and the publisher should ensure that the maps are recreated with gray-scale halftones in the next edition.

I recommend looking into whether the hardcover edition maps are any better and get that if they are.
34 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A genetic mystery... 1. Februar 2005
Von Michael Valdivielso - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I saw Spencer Wells on Book TV talking about his book and TV special, so when I found the book in paperback I snapped it up. And I am very happy I did. I knew a lot of the history he went over to explain why and how the Y-chromosome could be used to trace human evolution and how humans spread over the world. The reason I enjoyed it so much is that I have many of the books he used as sources and it allowed me to read without those full halts that sometimes happens when you hide an idea or fact you never heard of before.

But even people who have no knowledge how DNA works or have no idea how our prehistoric forefathers lived will find the book interesting and easy to absorb.

The Y-chromosome not only helps us trace the male DNA back to Africa, it is also shown to help answer once and all questions about language families and even how the knowledge of farming spread.

The language used in the book is easy to understand and Mr. Wells knows how to explain even complex issues with humor and clarity.

Some information about Homo erectus/ergaster in Asia MIGHT be out-dated with the discovery of Homo floresiensis (Hobbits), but the data about Homo sapiens is still sound.
34 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fascinating History of Mankind Revealed by Genetics 28. November 2003
Von Q. Publius - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I first heard the author speak at the Smithsonian on the genetic odyssey of mankind, in the best talk I've ever heard, and I go to many talks every year. Then I read the book and watched the two-hour PBS presentation by the same title. The author does a great service by summarizing much scholarship in genetics, archaeology, and linguistics, to paint a family portrait of the human race based on analysis of the Y chromosomes of peoples all over the world--an intriguing story, well told and accessible to the non-specialist, if not the general reader with a minimal background in college biology and biochemistry. The author's sense of humor adds to the delightful tale of mankind's journey. This is the most interesting book I've read since Jared Diamond's best seller, "Guns, Germs, and Steel," and encourages me to read more books in this area. Dr. Wells, who refers to himself in the PBS show as a "lab rat," has done a great service both to his field and to the public by sharing the results of detailed and laborious scientific research with the larger human race whose ancestors are the subject of this fascinating history.
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