- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1455549436
- ISBN-13: 978-1455549436
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives--and Our Lives Change Our Genes Reprint Edition
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2014: In the last microsecond of the scientific age, we’ve figured out that our brains change throughout our life, adapting for good or ill based on lifestyle choices we make. But most of us haven’t yet realized the extent to which our genes also remain flexible, making Dr. Sharon Moalem’s Inheritance nothing short of revolutionary. Drawing on bleeding-edge science and sometimes heartbreaking stories of individuals he’s treated for rare genetic anomalies, Moalem explains how your DNA’s constant shape-shifting is “mediated and orchestrated by how you live, where you live, the stresses you face, and the things you consume.” Most fascinating (and terrifying, especially for parents) is evidence of how experiences--from trauma like bullying to times of happiness--can alter your genes so profoundly that the effects are passed down for generations. But his message is ultimately one of empowerment: we’re accelerating into a world where understanding your unique genetic inheritance will give you the power to eat, exercise, and seek medical treatment tailored to what your body really needs, where we’ll have “the opportunity to transform what we get and what we give,” altering the course of our destiny. --Mari Malcolm--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In the biological tug-of-war between nature and nurture that determines exactly who you are, there is no clear-cut winner. To explain why, physician-scientist Moalem invokes two important concepts, flexible inheritance and epigenetics. Flexible inheritance is defined as “the relationship between what our genes do to us and what we do to our genes.” Turns out that genetic traits can change. Genes are surprisingly sensitive. How we live influences our DNA. Moalem likens genes to “thousands upon thousands of little light switches, some are turning on while others are turning off.” An example of epigenetics is how a chemical (betaine) contained in spinach can ward off genetic mutations that give rise to cancer. Many rare hereditary metabolic disorders are discussed in the book. The ways that doctors utilize the study of genetics in their medical practices are described. Human beings are more than the product of a genetic blueprint. As Moalem writes, “We are the genetic culmination of our life experiences, as well as every event our parents and ancestors ever lived through and survived.” --Tony Miksanek --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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He offers in this book many one on one stories of people with rare conditions and some idea of how their rare conditions work to cause their maladies. What was left out, I think, is the science and practical how-to's behind the stories. How are researchers trying to fix the genes that he is describing? How do people with this or that condition live their lives today? Who or what agency supports people with this or that condition and how do their families cope? He mentions Obamacare briefly but I imagine this would date the book too much if he were to delve too heavily into today's issues. These were all questions I was left with but again it was an interesting fast read.
Most recent customer reviews
This fascinating book is a must read for anyone interested in genetics and the possibilities brought about by genetic science.Read more