The Mysterious World of the Human Genome

 
9780007549085: The Mysterious World of the Human Genome

How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work?

Your genome defines you at the most profound level. That same genome is present in every one of the approximately 100,000 billion cells that make you who you are as an individual member of the human species. An important ingredient of the genome, and its essential nature, is memory – the memory of the entirety of every individual human’s genetic inheritance. But how, exactly, does it perform this remarkable feat of memory? We know that this wonder chemical we call DNA works like a code. But how could any code recall the complex instructions that go into the making of cells and tissues and organs, and once made, allow them to function as a co-ordinated whole that comprises the human being?

All of this might be encompassed in a minuscule cluster of chemicals, including, but not exclusive to, the master molecule we call DNA. This chemical code somehow records the genetic instructions for ‘making’ us. Built into that code must also be the potential for individual liberty of thought and inventiveness, enabling every human artistic, mathematical and scientific creativity. It gives rise to what each of us thinks innately as our individual ‘self’. Somehow that same construction of ‘self’ made possible the genius of Mozart, Picasso, Newton and Einstein. It is little wonder that we look at the repository of such potential with awe. And unsurprisingly we hope to uncover the mystery that lies at the very core of our being.

In this groundbreaking new book, Frank Ryan leads us into a series of remarkable revelations about our human history, into the very distant past of our ancestor’s lives and their prehistoric exploration of our beautiful planet, revealing the true secrets to the human genome which makes each of us who we are. Only recently have we come to understand the human genome in sufficient depth and subtlety to be able to put together its marvellous story – and to discover that there is rather more to it than DNA alone.

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Review:

Praise for Frank Ryan:

‘Extremely well written… Frank Ryan has the page-turning and spine-chilling ability of a good novelist’ Matt Ridley, Sunday Telegraph

‘Very good at making technical matters comprehensible to the lay reader but more impressive still is the way he conveys the intellectual excitement and elation of scientific discovery’ Literary Review

‘Ryan takes us through the drama of discovery and challenges the notion that certain questions are too appalling to contemplate’ New Scientist

‘Ryan’s book should have a great appeal to non-scientists and could become a significant instrument in policy formation… spellbinding, intellectually adventurous, difficult to put down’ Nature

About the Author:

Originally qualified as a doctor, Frank Ryan is now one of the pioneers of the role of viruses in evolution. He was recently made Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffiled, with the express purpose of developing his evolutionary concepts and helping to translate evolutionary science into medicine. He is the author of four general books, including a New York Times NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR (Tuberculosis).

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work? Over the past 50 years we have deciphered the inner workings of the human genome. From the basic structure of DNA through to the complete sequence of the code, what first appeared to be simple is actually a complex and beautiful three-dimensional world that makes each of us who we are. In The Mysterious World of the Human Genome acclaimed science writer Frank Ryan leads us through the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last 50 years, revealing how this science has unlocked the cure of some genetic diseases, developed the use of DNA in forensic science and paternity testing, helped us trace our ancestors and provided a definitive map for the movement of humans out of Africa. This scientific journey has had a profound impact on our understanding of the evolution of life itself, through the role of the most ancient of organisms in our basic biology all the way to the revelation that our most recent ancestor, Homo neanderthalensis, lives on in many of us. In the ever more complicated world of the human genome, this is the first book to explain how the human genome actually works as a whole and how that knowledge will have a profound effect on our understanding of where we have come from and where we are likely to be going in the future. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780007549085

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work? Over the past 50 years we have deciphered the inner workings of the human genome. From the basic structure of DNA through to the complete sequence of the code, what first appeared to be simple is actually a complex and beautiful three-dimensional world that makes each of us who we are. In The Mysterious World of the Human Genome acclaimed science writer Frank Ryan leads us through the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last 50 years, revealing how this science has unlocked the cure of some genetic diseases, developed the use of DNA in forensic science and paternity testing, helped us trace our ancestors and provided a definitive map for the movement of humans out of Africa. This scientific journey has had a profound impact on our understanding of the evolution of life itself, through the role of the most ancient of organisms in our basic biology all the way to the revelation that our most recent ancestor, Homo neanderthalensis, lives on in many of us. In the ever more complicated world of the human genome, this is the first book to explain how the human genome actually works as a whole and how that knowledge will have a profound effect on our understanding of where we have come from and where we are likely to be going in the future. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780007549085

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