Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society--a force set to shape our future even more radically.She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities. . . .But, Zimmer writes, "Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are--our appearance, our height, our penchants--in inconceivably subtle ways." Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors--using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates--but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer's lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world's best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations....
|Title||:||She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity|
|Number of Pages||:||544 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity|
She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity Reviews
A fascinating journey through the multi-facetted biological basis, historical and societal impact of heredity; from Aristotle to plant and animal breeders in the 18th and 19th century to Darwin, Mendel, eugenics, pre-implantation diagnostics and CRISPR/Cas. Carl Zimmer tells the story not in a chronological way but in different vignettes of researchers that are careful, struggle with or are too confident about their discoveries. The book reads or is listened to easily. Zimmer reduces scientific ...more
Great book with numerous points of insight into modern genetics and heredity. The middle lost some momentum, but the author did a great job of finishing well and tying the whole storyline together by the end giving the read a feeling more akin to a novel rather than a textbook.
An amazing and well researched book. Takes us through the history and research of heredity from
first works to today. It was so interesting to know where we started and how little we knew about heredity not that long ago. Some scientific researchers got it right and others drew wrong conclusions which may be forgivable for the time period but caused so much harm. There were certainly many ethical dilemmas that came in strong. Although it includes studies and scientific outcomes it is easy to rea ...more
Carl Zimmer delivers a wonderful tribute to the perplexities and fascinating aspects of our DNA in this remarkably illuminating book.
What a brilliant earth shuttering book! The staff good science fiction is made of except happening IRL now as we live. So many amazing new ideas and facts, I was forced to stop reading and just contemplate and share with friends and family what I read. I'm not very good at science, although love reading pop science books and magazines, yet this book was quite accessible even to someone with barely passable grade in biology class. I would love to thank the author for the wonderful experience of r ...more
The given title she has her mothers laugh attracted me I want to read it.
Beautifully written, tackles important and fascinating areas of heredity. I was surprised to learn that if you go back just a few generations, your odds of sharing *any* DNA with any particular ancestor drops to almost 0 (and if you go back just a few thousand years, then every human being alive then is either every living person's direct ancestor, or no one's.
Zimmer also does a good job of tackling the ways in which the study of inheritance has been misused, from the eugenics movement to scien ...more
This book is so big it took me quite awhile to finish. It really slowed down my number of books read, but it was so interesting it was worth it! The first section is a good refresher on heredity, both the history of the science as well as how it all works. The rest of the book focuses on genetics in families, including from a genealogical perspective. Zimmer wrote in such an engaging way that even the more difficult scientific explanations weren't too dry or confusing.