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Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives--and Our Lives Change Our Genes [Kindle Edition]

Sharon Moalem MD PhD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $28.00
Kindle Price: $14.99
You Save: $13.01 (46%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

Award-winning physician and New York Times bestselling author Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD, reveals how genetic breakthroughs are completely transforming our understanding of both the world and our lives.

INHERITANCE

Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being.

In the brave new world we're rapidly rocketing into, genetic knowledge has become absolutely crucial. INHERITANCE provides an indispensable roadmap for this journey by teaching you:

-Why you may have recovered from the psychological trauma caused by childhood bullying-but your genes may remain scarred for life.

-How fructose is the sugar that makes fruits sweet-but if you have certain genes, consuming it can buy you a one-way trip to the coroner's office.

-Why ingesting common painkillers is like dosing yourself repeatedly with morphine-if you have a certain set of genes.

-How insurance companies legally use your genetic data to predict the risk of disability for you and your children-and how that impacts the coverage decisions they make for your family.

-How to have the single most important conversation with your doctor-one that can save your life.

And finally:

-Why people with rare genetic conditions hold the keys to medical problems affecting millions.

In this trailblazing book, Dr. Moalem employs his wide-ranging and entertaining interdisciplinary approach to science and medicine-- explaining how art, history, superheroes, sex workers, and sports stars all help us understand the impact of our lives on our genes, and our genes on our lives. INHERITANCE will profoundly alter how you view your genes, your health--and your life.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dr. Moalem tells fascinating stories so you will easily understand the complexities of modern genetic science." --Temple Grandin, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Autistic Brain and Thinking in Pictures

"In INHERITANCE, Sharon Moalem peels away at the complex discussion of nature and nurture by looking at how unique cases inform the fundamental system of genes, environments, and experiences-teaching us how our dynamic identities come into being."
--Dan Ariely, PhD, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational

"This book is a thought provoking and most enlightening journey into the very essence of who we are. Dr. Moalem's writing style is clear and uses great examples to help us appreciate our genetic selves. In INHERITANCE we have a new understanding that we are not at all destined to any particular future or outcome encoded within our DNA. Indeed, the whole notion that life's events, trivial and non-trivial, shape who we are has profound consequences for how we live and, in fields like biotechnology, how this learning can help us better to diagnose, treat and cure- and to extend and enhance human life." --John F. Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, and author of Chasing Miracles: The Crowley Family Journey of Strength, Hope and Joy

"Dr. Moalem is an eloquent guide through the astonishing new world of genetic discovery - with all its implications for both personal health and public policy. If you've wondered about the impact of genetics on your life- read this book!" --Kinney Zalesne, New York Times bestselling author of Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes

"We have long thought that the genetic code we were born with was the genetic code we were stuck with. No longer. Dr. Moalem explains how the genetics that determine whether we get sick or stay healthy can change during the course of our lifetime, and we how can exert some control over these changes. In this exceedingly engaging and highly informative book, Dr. Moalem uses engrossing stories to make complicated genetics easily comprehensible to people without backgrounds in the biological sciences. Reading this book could literally affect generations to come." --J. Russell Teagarden, PhD. Senior Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs, National Organization For Rare Disorders (NORD)

"Many people will enjoy reading this easy to read book on a very complex, real and highly personal subject. It will remove mysteries and create others. It will give the lay reader a sense of the rapidly growing understanding of this field. I highly recommend it to everyone." --Henri A. Termeer, Former CEO and President of Genzyme Corp.

About the Author

Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD, is an award-winning scientist, physician, and New York Times bestselling author of the books Survival of the Sickest and How Sex Works. His research and writing blends medicine, genetics, history and biology, to explain how the human body works in new and fascinating ways. His internationally bestselling books have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Dr. Moalem's scientific work led to the discovery of Sideromycin, a novel antibiotic compound effective against multidrug resistant or 'superbug' microorganisms. He has also been awarded 20 patents for inventions related to biotechnology and human health, and cofounded two biotechnology companies, and served as an associate editor for the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Moalem and his research have been featured in The New York Times, TIME, New Scientist, and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, and CNN.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! April 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
"Inheritance" is compelling reading; a real page turner! As an adult patient with the rare genetic disease CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy), from a mutation on the NOTCH3 gene, I found this book to be enlightening in many ways, especially how all of us, rare patients or not, are at this very moment changing our destiny by our genetic expression. I am inspired to have my full DNA sequenced now, so I can better learn what foods, vitamins, medications, environmental factors, etc. are helping me or hurting me. I am so grateful to Dr. Moalem for this book and its contents, for his dedicated work with rare patients, and for his discovery of a new antibiotic called Siderocillin to combat superbug infections. I highly recommend this book for anyone with DNA.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I received an advanced reading copy of this from the publisher via Goodread's First-reads Giveaway program.

This popular science book is a broad overview of genetic and epigenetic inheritance, basically exactly what the subtitle says. The introduction oversells the the epigenetic focus (how life experience or environment can lead the changes in DNA that are not strictly sequence-based) because the majority of the book does stay within the realms of traditional sequence-based inherited genetic variation. Moreover, given Moalem's specialty, the focus is not so much on inheritance itself, nor even the specific mechanisms of inheritance.

Instead this book really comes down to these ideas: 1) There are a lot of genetic disorders. 2) Individually these disorders are often rare. 3) It is fairly likely that an given individual though will have some kind of disorder. In other words, everyone is unique; most all of us have unique rare disorders of some severity or another. The truth of this may surprise some, as may the implications: namely that any health advisories are tailored for the 'average population'. But no one is average. So not everyone can take the same amounts of medication. Eating high amounts of fat may be great for some people. Eating any fruits may be really bad for someone else. Running is good exercise for your spouse, it might give you a heart-attack, etc.

"Inheritance" thereby sweeps across a wide realm of human genetic variation, threading topics together under common themes. Moalem avoids getting bogged down into a lot of detail, making this book of greatest interest to the general public with medical interests, or those in particular who find medical anomalies interesting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and informing April 16, 2014
Format:Hardcover
This is the third of Dr. Moalems' books I have greedily plunged into. And like the other two I came away amazed at his ability to put very complex subjects into language that is understandable, no matter ones level of medical knowledge. For me, the biggest take away of the book is not that we inherit our traits, good and bad, but that what we do today can influence our genes that we pass along to future generations

i would encourage anyone wanting or needing to find out more about our past forebearers to read this book. I come away thinking that we are a better world to have devoted researchers such as Dr. Moalem

Annette Austin
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Voyage April 16, 2014
Format:Hardcover
IAn amazing read! I was reminded of an old film, vintage 1966, Fantastic Voyage. Long ago, this film captured me, held me hostage to the wonders of the human body. While there were a lot of issues surrounding the cold war and miniaturizing matter, it was focused on trying to save a life. Following an attempted assignation, a scientist was alive but comatose. Using miniaturization technology, a small group of scientists get onboard a submarine (proteus), traveling though the body in order to remove a clot lodged in the scientist's brain. I recall sitting in the theater amazed and mesmerized, by the ‘view’.
INHERITANCE expands our Fantastic Voyage, this time shedding light on the uncertainties and unknowns of those early years, laying out our genetic map, the small changes in our genes that make us unique, wonderful creatures; the genes that are disease causing and those that are protective as well as the environmental influences that will change who we become. Dr. Moalem’s book is friendly, an easy read and an adventure that is here today for all of us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Fascinating science told through intriguing stories. It will break the rules you learned about the genetic code and give you new ones to ponder. Dr. Moalem makes the complex simple. This book will not only influence you as you think about you own genetic code but will influence health policy for years to come. “When it comes to genetics, the rare informs the common.” A must read! C. Dillon
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Disease families should read this book! April 16, 2014
Format:Hardcover
As the parent of a child with a rare genetic disease, I desire to learn as much as I am able to comprehend about the field of genetics and what can be done to improve the quality of life for my son. In one book, and in an easy to read and understand format, Dr. Moalem has expanded my knowledge exponentially. The concepts he describes are intriguing, and the way he conveys them in layman's terms sparked many "aha" moments for me as I moved through the book. What is normally a very dry and tedious subject matter Dr. Moalem actually manages to make entertaining and at times almost fun. He does balance this approach with solid science and does underscore the seriousness of advancements in genetic understanding and the potential societal consequences they may produce. All in all after reading this book I am even more optimistic about the chances that we can discover a way to effectively combat the debilitating symptoms of alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) and give AHC Champions worldwide a better quality of life than they have today. I believe every parent of a child with a rare genetic disorder would benefit from reading this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A scientific page-turner!
This is my very favorite type of book - a noted scientist who has a great writing style writing about a very timely topic that is of great intrinsic interest. Read more
Published 19 days ago by BisonOak
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't read it fast enough!!
The author did an incredible job of walking the reader through complex concepts by telling them each as a story or case study. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Arturo Trejo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read! Very interesting & informative
Published 1 month ago by Mallory Spiersch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing Books. Filled with interesting information!
Published 1 month ago by Paulo Saores Barros
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
This book is a fascinating recount about how those with rare genetic diseases have really shaped modern genetic medicine. Great read!
Published 1 month ago by bspeer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 1 month ago by C. Roxanne Cheley
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information you didn't know or think to ask!
A very interesting book, written in an entertaining way.
Published 1 month ago by aquablue
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Knowledge
Fascinating.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars!
I loved the book. It was as informative as it was a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it to anyone. Thanks for a great book Sharon.
Published 2 months ago by Paul Klibanow
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a really good read. The author does a great job of ...
This is a really good read. The author does a great job of writing in a chatty, nontechnical way for the most part. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chaiam Yankel's bubbie
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More About the Author

Sharon Moalem MD, PhD, is an award-winning scientist, physician, New York Times and international bestselling author of the books Survival of the Sickest and How Sex works. His much anticipated third book, Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes, will be released in April 2014. Dr. Moalem's research and writing blends medicine, genetics, history and biology, to explain how the human body works in new and fascinating ways. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Dr. Moalem's scientific work led to the discovery of Siderocillin, a novel antibiotic compound effective against multidrug resistant or 'superbug' microorganisms. He has also been awarded 20 patents for inventions related to biotechnology and human health, cofounded two biotechnology companies, and served as an associate editor for the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Dr. Moalem and his research have been featured in The New York Times, TIME magazine, New Scientist, and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, and CNN.


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