The Gene

The Gene

An Intimate History

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The author draws on his scientific knowledge and research to describe the magisterial history of a scientific idea, the quest to decipher the master-code of instructions that makes and defines humans; that governs our form, function, and fate; and that determines the future of our children. The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds--from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome--unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
Edition: EBOOK TEXT
ISBN: 9781476733531
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive

Opinion

From Library Staff

Gates was fascinated with the author's ability to make hard science approachable. "While the human genome map gave us the ability to read all three billion letters of our genetic code, we now have the power to edit the human genome as well. Thanks in part to a chance discovery by researchers... Read More »

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Emperor of All Maladies comes a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to read and write our own genetic information?


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d
dvonne
Apr 04, 2019

what is it about genes? from shalit to siskel, genes have been drawn to film criticism like a moth to a flame. at the cineplex they gather, basking in the glow of movie magic. not content to merely revel in a film's sights and sounds, they then take to the typewriter, sharing their experience with one and all. but what happens when a gene finds its way to the OTHER side of the silver screen (gene hackman)? mukherjee, in not exploring this topic, has written a very bad and boring book

b
Bududo
Mar 03, 2019

For a well written, generally accessible to the layman, broad, and insightful history of the science & pseudoscience of inheritance and genetics, this is the book. Although it is well documented that the author Siddhartha Mukherjee did not get everything correct, as a physician he has the background to understand the science & how it may apply to current medical practice and he is gifted with the ability to explain these ideas in ways that non-geneticist can grasp. The intimate part of the title, I surmise is due to the the author's engaging approach of coming back to how this topic touches his families (& our ) lives. Towards the end, author explores the bioethics challenges that we as citizens will need to face given current and very near future genetic engineering technology.

a
AaronAardvark1940
Nov 14, 2017

Wow!
An easy read. Mukherjee delved into the personalities of various scientists involved in studies of the gene, which assisted my understanding of the development of their theories. The use of his own family history grounded me in the application of these theories. His examples; his descriptions; everything was so lucid. I found his discussion of gender and gender identity very interesting. The penultimate section (Post Genome) raised all kinds of red flags as to the future of humanity.
Anybody with even minimal curiosity about genetics should read this book.

y
yycdaisy
May 22, 2017

This very long book (500 pages of text) is mainly a history book. It takes 300 pages just to get to this century.

m
m0k1m3
Apr 12, 2017

I love this book so much - it brings tears to my eyes. Although I'm not an anti-scientist, it's nothing I've been drawn to in my life as I'm, generally, confused and befuddled by the language and theory... sometimes I feel as though I'm sinking in quicksand when trying to trudge through an article on ideas that have my interest. Here - still very much science (and still difficult for me to assimilate) - is a read that left me breathless and wanting more... Were I a teacher (literature for me), this book would be an assignment. I'm brimming with new and terrifying thots - resonating with his descriptive phrase of "ethical vertigo". History, Science, Psychology --- Humanity, and a personal saga - Recommend highly.

o
Orcacreative
Jan 16, 2017

Epic!
Warning: this book can cause white supremacists to run out in the sun and start hitting themselves violently in the head, sometimes even with a baseball bat that resembles some tools once used by neanderthals.

beacutfelgroluc2014utr Dec 24, 2016

Superb read.

t
Tylerharvey
Dec 17, 2016

This book was a gem.

r
rogyoung2
Nov 20, 2016

Great book. Well written, very readable, but not an easy subject to grasp. It cleared up some of the things I learned about heredity in high school, 45 years ago. And, this book taught me about the huge advances in knowledge about genetics, biology, and and physiology since then. There are also examples, some troubling, about the history of eugenics, and about human experiments in the name of science.

s
SteveBush
Oct 26, 2016

An authoritative and comprehensive look at both history and current events in the world of genetics. Excellent summary of a subject highly relevant to today's bioscience revolution.

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Tylerharvey
Dec 17, 2016

Tylerharvey thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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anneholmquist
Dec 04, 2017

History of genetics from point of view of doctor whose brother, father and grandfathr were schizophrenic; he turns out bipolar

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