Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. Read more...
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.
-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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Geneticist and bestselling author Moalem (How Sex Works) aims to promote awareness about genes and how they function in this enjoyable read. Writing primarily in a casual tone, Moalem demonstrates an unerring instinct for picking eye-catching discoveries in gene research to write about—this instinct is both a blessing and a curse. The excitement of his prose is palpable: “From striking a ball with a tennis racket, to pinching the cheeks of a loved one, to the bouncing here, there, and everywhere joy of gummy bears, that elastic ‘snap back into shape’ action you’re feeling is all thanks to collagen.” But while the writing is never over-burdened with scientific jargon, it often lacks cautionary notes and vital information that helps to put new research in its proper context. For example, he discusses a study that found striking epigenetic changes in a bullied twin that were not apparent in the twin sibling who wasn’t bullied. Moalem overstates the significance of this finding, claiming “in no uncertain terms” what the rather small study itself says merely “supports a hypothesis,” which may mislead readers. Otherwise, however, Moalem’s book is a page-turner and will surely inspire people to get better educated about genes and genetics. (Apr.)