The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance

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9780231161169: The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance
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Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics.

Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.

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Review:

Anyone seriously interested in who we are and how we function should read this book.--Peter Forbes "The Guardian "

[Nessa Carey's] book combines an easy style with a textbook's thoroughness.... A bold attempt to bring epigenetics to a wide audience.--Jonathan Weitzman "Nature "

Written in an engaging manner using everyday metaphors to clarify complex concepts and utilizing well-defined diagrams, the author has produced an outstanding book with her wit and expertise.--Rita Hoots "NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers Association) "

Nessa Carey takes us on a lively and up-to-date tour of what's known about epigenetic mechanisms and their implications for ageing and cancer.--Laurence Hurst, University of Bath "Focus Magazine "

An enlightening introduction to what scientists have learned in the past decade about [epigenetics].--Carl Zimmer "The Wall Street Journal "

A must-read for every intelligent person who likes to know what is going on in modern science.--Graham Storrs "New York Journal of Books "

[Carey] provides an excellent and largely accurate account of a fascinating and fast-moving area of modern biology.--Jonathan Hodgkin "Times Literary Supplement "

[A] mercifully clear writer.--Katharine Whittemore "The Boston Globe "

An exhilarating exploration of an exciting new field, and a good gift for a bright biologystudent looking for a career choice.--Kirkus Reviews

Carey's report on the rapidly developing state of epigenetics research may help nonscientists with public-policy, investment, and health-care decisions.--Booklist

About the Author:

Nessa Carey is a visiting professor at Imperial College in London and currently works in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, where she has specialized in epigenetics for nearly a decade. She has strong relationships with leading epigenetics researchers, medical labs in Europe, and with some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, including the Harvard Medical School, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Wistar Institute.

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