[Read] ➳ The Gene: An Intimate History By Siddhartha Mukherjee – Iphoneleaks.co.uk

10 thoughts on “The Gene: An Intimate History

  1. says:

    I have this tendency, when I read a book as brilliantly informing as this one, to wipe the froth from my mouth, shuffle the pages of notes I ve written contemporaneous to the reading, and plunge into the cocktail party which is this forum, grabbing each of you by the virtual lapels, and launching into a lecture about one of the hundreds of things I learned in the process As if, you know, I missed some of the froth.So, imagine me back from some journey, casting pleasantries aside, and launching wild eyed and, yes, maybe a little frothy, insisting that you grasp the fraction of what I ve learned via the fraction of my ability to explain, as if it is the most important thing in the world Until next week s book and next week s cocktail party, that is Passionate and off putting Aware, but unable to stop myself Yup, that s me But I have a defense.There s probably a gene that makes me so.Seems I got than blue eyes from Mom, than dark hair from Dad There are many chambers of the human heart and many caverns in the human mind, but they are all there somewhere pinned onto the genome which is Tony This book is worth the read just for the section on sickle cell anemia, or the one explaining the genetic basis for sexual identity, or the story of Mitochondrial Eve Did you know that when the Allied forces entered the Nazi death camps, they found an inordinate number of twins among the survivors This was so because Mengele was fascinated by Zwillinge These survivors, sharing as they did identical genetic markers, served as the subjects of much subsequent genetic research The problem with racial discrimination is not the inference of a person s race from their genetic characteristics It is quite the opposite it is the inference of a person s characteristics from their race. But, I ve now learned, the vast proportion of genetic diversity 85 to 90 percent occurs within so called races i.e., within Asians or Africans and only a minor proportion 7 percent between racial groups I knew the story of Carrie Buck, legally sterilized after an Opinion by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stating Three generations of imbeciles is enough But Mukherjee lets that story hover over us as he takes us to a lecture he attended in 2013, a lecture given by a fifteen year old girl named Erika, who suffered from a severe, progressive degenerative disease, causing muscle tremors that progressively worsened She tried new drugs, clinical trials Nothing worked Yet there she was speaking to this hall of scientists, by far, among the most articulate, introspective teenagers that I have ever encountered A prenatal test to find the mutations that caused Erika s condition is theoretically possible We could, bluntly, prevent future Erikas Mukherjee lets us ponder this as he watches Erika being pushed by her mother across a parking lot in her wheelchair, her scarf billowing behind her, like an epilogue It s that last little bit, that fragment of a quote like a piece of DNA, that I hope exposes why this book had such a purchase on me It s not just that Mukherjee can take a very complicated scientific subject and make it understandable It s that he does so with really gorgeous writing.At one point he is explaining how we got here, how humans began on an arid mesa in South Africa and, from there, went west, as young men often do The migrants made it to the northeastern edge of Ethiopia or Egypt, where the Red Sea narrows to a slitlike strait And then he writes this There was no one there to part the ocean We do not know what drove these men and women to fling themselves across the water, or how they managed to cross it What is certain is that every perilous ocean crossing left hardly any survivors perhaps as few as six hundred men and women Europeans, Asians, Australians, and Americans are the descendants of these drastic bottlenecks, and this corkscrew of history too has left its signature in our genomes In a genetic sense, nearly all of us who emerged out of Africa, gasping for land and air, are even closely yoked than previously imagined We were on the same boat, brother.The same but different different but the same I ll stop there, having no doubt expressed my enthusiasm better than my understanding of human genetics I ll stop even though the clicker below says I have 15,480 characters left, or about 500 less than the number of genes in one of my cells But one of the truly entertaining parts of this book was the author s use of quotes So, since I m feeling epigrammy, I ll add my favorites to the comments.Bye I have to go.

  2. says:

    Hello bookish peeps,Another one of my review has been posted on our country s largest daily newspaper s website, The Times of India This book is the story of the birth, growth, and future of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in the history of science the gene, the fundamental unit of heredity, and the basic unit of all biological information I Siddhartha MukherjeeThe 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner, Siddhartha Mukherjee, is back with another incredibly well written book, The Gene An Intimate History that unfolds the extensive and profound knowledge and research about human genome and its genetics that reflects beyond the definition of both basic and advanced science The above quote by the author, himself, simply outlines the story line of this in depth and thorough yet intimidating book about genes.Since the primeval times, it has been observed that living organisms can pass down attributes to their offspring, who can then pass down to their own children and so on The author begins his book with Gregor Johann Mendel, a scientist, who observed the nature of genes in pea plants by isolating them to discover the transmissible characteristics in pea plants Thomas Hunt Morgan, who in the early 20th century observed a study on fruit flies to state the real location of genes in a living organism s cell The author has mathematically noted down each milestone in genetic science in this book, rather descriptively But with all this, the author ensures that his readers do not lose their focus from the fact that study of genes is not any just a progressive or evolutionary aspect in science and medicines, rather it is a study and observation about how an individual is insufficiently deciphering the technological advancement in the science of genetics as well as the study of oneself.Siddhartha Mukherjee sweepingly shares his own Bengali family medical and genetic history through this book This includes his father with a genetically challenged brain illness, his mother and her twin sisters and the sudden onset of schizophrenia among his cousins and uncles, thereby inducing fear for the future generations and shock and knowledge about the unknown genetic defects underlying in his family history of hereditary.The author s writing has a lot of gravity, meaning and research affixed with true facts, that might or might not be able to bring a change among the readers to look at this scientific study of genes and its underlying messages in a different way, but it will definitely open the tight shut windows about human genome in the minds of the readers In a crux, the book will gracefully enlighten the readers The narrative is articulate and I believe the book is written in a way that even if you are not accustomed to big scientific and medical terminologies, they can easily be comprehended.Please follow the link below to read my review you

  3. says:

    I listened to the BBC abridged audio book as I often do before ordering it I like hardbacks so I try and be sure first I want to read it I didn t like it enough I loved The Emperor of All Maladies A Biography of Cancer but couldn t feel that deep interest with this one.Now it could be that the book is fantastic and it had a lousy editor at the BBC Oliver Sacks autobiography, On the Move A Life is a 10 star book, but the abridged BBC one is terrible, mostly the wrong episodes chosen But still, the book was full of Mukherjee s usual overly detailed extremely long passages and I couldn t get anything from them, so on to the next book But I might still order it in hardback because I think this is one of the books I might be wrong about

  4. says:

    In this beautifully written, vivid history of genetics Mukherjee takes us by the hand and walks us through the hall of fame of all the people who are the reason for modern biology as we study it today His picturesque descriptions make the book a joy to read.Starting with Mendel and ending with embryonic stem cell research and beyond the fascinating story of genetic research is given in the book There are life stories of many exceptional scientists Unfortunately many examples of bad science and faux scientists can also be found I am particularly glad that Rosalind Franklin who died at age 36 due to ovarian cancer most likely because of Xray exposure from her experiments and her work without which DNA structure would not have been understood is given the importance and acknowledgement in this book Students of medicine, biology and related fields as well as anyone with an interest in the history and future of science will enjoy and learn a lot from The Gene.

  5. says:

    Cannot begin to tell you what I learned from this fascinating study of The Gene but I gained great insight from the thorough research of Siddhartha Mukherjee I am destined for a second read listen The audio narration by Dennis Boutsikaris made this compelling, very well paced with a distinct and pleasant tonal quality Highly recommended.

  6. says:

    Not half as good a narrative as The Emperor of All Maladies, but still a good account of the Gene s journey and where it is going It will hold your attention even if you have read multiple accounts of the progress of Genetics such as Watson s, because most histories of the Gene focus on the Genome project or on the early phase of discovery of genetics, Mukherjee instead focuses on the applications that are currently ongoing and how those fields have developed My only complaint the focus of the book is on the Human Gene and hence on Medicine, while the story of the Gene is surely about much than medicine extending to Food, Evolution, Economics and perhaps Politics the Gene has a very wide role to play in our future and we need to develop perspective on that future today Mukherjee gives a glimpse of where Medicine is going, but perhaps could also have shown us where We are going.

  7. says:

    Thanks goes to Netgalley and a wonderful author for a wonderfully told series of stories within the world of genetics.I was worried, briefly, by the insistence of bringing Aristotle s take on the genome, or the recapitulation of many of the grandfathers of the science, such as Mendel and Darwin, but the way that these otherwise well known personages were brought alive to the page was of a story than a dry recounting Even so, I wasn t prepared for what was soon to come.I became engrossed in the history of American Eugenics, and even so in Germany s frightful improvements, all of which painted the history of the science in quite a dark, and ignorant, light.Fortunately for all of us, Crick, Watson, and Ferdinand come out swinging and we can see this all as a heroic step forward even considering the fact that Ferdinand never got to see her work truly recognized From here on out, we ve got truly wonderful tales of Beck and the birth of recombinant DNA, scientists self policing, the rise of multinational bio engineering firms, AIDS, gene therapies, genome mapping, and of course cloning and stem cell blocking, and each and every one of these stories are bright and very readable.And what s , it s always informative and it s always interesting It even draws us in to the author s own deep and emotional familial history and his own drive to understand.I ll make no bones about it I was moved.I ve read than a handful of books on genetics in the past, and while some were quite good and some were sometimes mesmerizingly boring, I think this one has got to be the most readable, grab you on the human level, and most in depth survey of the entire field that I ve ever read So many disparate characteristics managed to encode the proteins of the narrative, and no one could be happier than me to see such a healthy and shining phenotypical expression be borne from a popular book It s classy and smart Very smart In fact, it s pretty much a must have if you re a science history buff bringing us up to the cutting edge present and want a few questions for the future.

  8. says:

    I m not going to lie, there were some pages of this book where all my mind saw was science science science science etc etc over and over again instead of the actual words which apparently make sense to people cleverer than me Happily though, the vast majority of the book is written in a engaging and approachable fashion Nevertheless, it clearly represents a vast amount of research, spanning the field from Aristotle to the present day It plots the path of ever increasing knowledge and specific theories about the means of heredity Detailed descriptions of research, the individuals and teams who undertook it, every step forward and backwards , the social, moral, scientific, and political implications of new information and techniques all these things and Mukherjee has addressed in this biography of the gene His evaluative skill is piercing and never so when looking at the dangers inherent in being able to modify our very nature Of course, eugenics and the Nazis are covered, but he casts the net wider, into forced sterilisations in America and movements in the UK to create better people Not only that, he investigates the presence of these issues in contemporary society, asking whether our increasing capacity to make changes to our genes is balanced by a real understanding of the ethical implications Yet he doesn t fail to point out how the lives of many people with certain genetic conditions have been vastly improved by the new science As with so much of technological and scientific advancement, ideas about morality are inherently intertwined with the way it is actually used It was a compelling read, though challenging Very much worth taking the time to understand an area that will, I think, come to affect our lives in and ways as the years pass.Many thanks to Random House Vintage and Netgalley for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.

  9. says:

    This book is a skillfully crafted combination of science history, character sketches, and personal encounters by the author s extended family with a history of mental illness The end result maintains the interest of the reader in a subject that could have been a lot less interesting in the hands on another writer.Most of the book is an account of the history of human advances in the understanding of how heritable characteristics are passed through multiple biological generations Toward the end of the book the author explores the ambiguous contributions of nature, nurture and chance in the destiny of biological life Also some speculation is made on the future possibilities of gene manipulation and repair.The author s discussion of the complexities of sexual identity was particularly poignant in light of recent political controversies in the USA regarding transexuals This section of the book should be required reading for legislators who think that the determination of sex at birth is final.Below are some quotations that caught my eye I ve preceded each with my introductory comment I feel sorry of Darwin in his efforts to defend his theory of survival of the fittest as the driving force in the evolution of species He didn t understand the rules of genetics and thus didn t have the needed information to explain why unusual beneficial genetic traits were not lost through cross breeding The following quotation describes how close Darwin came to finding the needed information Instead the significance of Mendel s findings remained unnoticed for four decades.Had Darwin looked carefully through the books in his voluminous library he might of found a reference to an obscure paper by a little known Botanist from Brno, unassumingly titled Experiments in Plant Hibernation and published in a scarcely known journal in 1866 The paper was written in dense German and packed with the kind of mathematical tables that Darwin particularly despised Even so Dawin came tantalizing close to reading it In the early 1870s pouring through a book on plant hybrids he made extensive hand written notes on pages 50 , 51, 53, and 54, but mysteriously skipped page 52 where the Brno paper of pea hybrids was discussed in detail If Darwin had actually read it, particularly as he was writing Variation and formulating pangenesis, this study might have provided the final critical insight to understand his own theory of evolution He would have been fascinated by its implications, moved by the tenderness of it labor, and struck by its strange and explanatory power Darwin s incisive intellect would have quickly grasped its implications for the understanding of evolution.The following summary of the Nazi and Soviets genetic programs during WWII shows how things can go astray when genetics is made to fit political dogma.The Nazis believing in absolute genetic immutability a Jew is a Jew had resorted to eugenics to change the structure of their population The Soviets, believing in absolute genetic reprogrammability anyone is everyone could eradicate all distinctions and thus achieve a radical collective good One positive contribution of the Nazis is that they totally discredited eugenics programs.The mark of Nazis genetics remains like an indelible scar This perhaps was the final contribution of Nazism to genetics It placed the ultimate stamp of shame on eugenics The horror of Nazi eugenics inspired a cautionary tale prompting a global reexamination of the ambitions that had spurred the effort Around the world eugenic programs came to a shamefaced halt The following quotation is addressing the differences between identical twins I saved it because of the three adjectives modifying events I might need those words someday to explain why I m surprised What causes the difference Forty three studies performed over two decades have revealed a powerful and consistent answer unsystematic, idiosyncratic, serendipitous events.Genetic markers have been identified that predict differing abilities to handle stress The following is an interesting discussion of what could be done with that information It is as if resilience itself has a genetic core Some humans are born resilient but are less responsive to interventions, while others are born sensitive but likely to respond to changes in their environments The idea of a resilience gene has entranced social engineers Should we seek to identify the most susceptible children and disproportionately target them when it comes to investing scarce intervention and service dollars I believe the answer is yes Some people are like delicate orchids, they quickly wither when exposed to distress and depravation but blossom if given a lot of care and support Others are like dandelions They prove resilient to the negative effects of adversity but at the same time do not particularly benefit from positive experiences By identifying these delicate orchid versus dandelion children by gene profiling societies might achieve vastly efficient targeting of scarce resources For many years geneticists couldn t find a way to perform targeted gene repair The following is an interesting summary of the author s description of how yogurt engineers found a bacterium capable of defending itself from hostile viruses by a clever method that could also be borrowed by geneticists to target specific places on a gene and make repairs Only a handful of such instances of scientific serendipity have occurred in the history of biology An arcane microbial defense devised by microbes discovered by yogurt engineers and reprogrammed by RNA biologist has created a trap door to transformative technology that geneticists had sought for so longingly for decades A method to achieve directed efficient and sequence specific modification of the human genome The following short review is from PageADay Book Lover s Calendar for January 19, 2018 Siddhartha Mukherjee Won the Pulitzer Prize and legions of devoted readers with his biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies He brings the same depth of knowledge and personal touch to the story of the human gene Covering everything from how Aristotle and Darwin understood genetics to the rnodern phenomenon of mapping the genome, The Gene prepares readers to understand the ethical questions surrounding genetics today Fascinating, accessible, and timely THE GENE AN INTIMATE HISTORY, by Siddhartha Mukherjee Scribner, 2016

  10. says:

    We seek constancy in heredity and find its opposite variation Mutants are necessary to maintain the essence of our selves Siddhartha Mukherjee, The GeneI ve owned Mukherjee s other book, The Emperor of All Maladies A Biography of Cancer, for years and have consistently found rational reasons to not read it So, I m not sure what made me pick up this book first Perhaps, it was a friend who prompted me Perhaps, too, was my tendency to come late to authors and read them backwards rNA Perhaps, there is a gene somewhere that always pushes me read an author s first, great novel late Don t know What I do know is I was BLOWN away by this book It was, first to last page, intensely interesting, it flowed well, and in parts it was damn near poetry Every day I ended up reading than I planned for that day I couldn t put it down Just like it is sometimes amazing that a fruit fly, a virus, or man can come from an arrangement of just 4 nucleotides in DNA ATGC , it often amazes me that 26 letters in our alphabet can express the poetry of E.E Cummings and the prose of a writer like Mukherjee There were some experimental chapters that didn t resonate quite as well, but these were minor dings on a nearly perfect work of narrative nonfiction Overall, the book reminded me a bit of Wright s The Moral Animal Why We Are the Way We Are The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology or Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb It easy sits among the very best in science writing I ve read, covering genetics and the gene from Darwin to CRISPR technology As someone who has Type 1 diabetes, RA, Graves disease, and Marfan syndrome, I ve always been fascinated by genes the history of genetics Yes, I m exist uncomfortably in the shallow end of my family s gene pool I ve actually had my skin punched for genetic tests in the late 80s by Dr Reed E Pyeritz at Johns Hopkins So, discussions in this book about Marfan Syndrome and Johns Hopkins Moore Clinic hit REALLY close to home After reading The Gene I m now a HUGE Mukherjee fan, and have moved The Emperor of All Maladies to my bedside table and will be jumping into that book soon sometimes, it seems, we can act rationally just by moving cancer closer to us.

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download The Gene: An Intimate History, read online The Gene: An Intimate History, kindle ebook The Gene: An Intimate History, The Gene: An Intimate History c004b3e19d5f From The Pulitzer Prize Winning, Bestselling Author Of The Emperor Of All Maladies 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 Siddhartha Mukherjee Has A Written A Biography Of The Gene As Deft, Brilliant, And Illuminating As His Extraordinarily Successful Biography Of Cancer Weaving Science, Social History, And Personal Narrative To Tell Us The Story Of One Of The Most Important Conceptual Breakthroughs Of Modern Times, Mukherjee Animates The Quest To Understand Human Heredity And Its Surprising Influence On Our Lives, Personalities, Identities, Fates, And ChoicesThroughout The Narrative, The Story Of Mukherjee S Own Family With Its Tragic And Bewildering History Of Mental Illness Cuts Like A Bright, Red Line, Reminding Us Of The Many Questions That Hang Over Our Ability To Translate The Science Of Genetics From The Laboratory To The Real World In Superb Prose And With An Instinct For The Dramatic Scene, He Describes The Centuries Of Research And Experimentation From Aristotle And Pythagoras To Mendel And Darwin, From Boveri And Morgan To Crick, Watson And Franklin, All The Way Through The Revolutionary Twenty First Century Innovators Who Mapped The Human GenomeAs The New Yorker Said Of The Emperor Of All Maladies, It S Hard To Think Of Many Books For A General Audience That Have Rendered Any Area Of Modern Science And Technology With Such Intelligence, Accessibility, And Compassion An Extraordinary Achievement Riveting, Revelatory, And Magisterial History Of A Scientific Idea Coming To Life, And An Essential Preparation For The Moral Complexity Introduced By Our Ability To Create Or Write The Human Genome, The Gene Is A Must Read For Everyone Concerned About The Definition And Future Of Humanity This Is The Most Crucial Science Of Our Time, Intimately Explained By A Master