How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.
How Modern Biology is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Introduces the new field that may revolutionize the understanding of human health and disease.
How Modern Biology is Rewriting our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
'A book that would have had Darwin swooning - anyone seriously interested in who we are and how we function should read this.' Guardian At the beginning of this century enormous progress had been made in genetics. The Human Genome Project finished sequencing human DNA. It seemed it was only a matter of time until we had all the answers to the secrets of life on this planet. The cutting-edge of biology, however, is telling us that we still don't even know all of the questions. How is it that, despite each cell in your body carrying exactly the same DNA, you don't have teeth growing out of your eyeballs or toenails on your liver? How is it that identical twins share exactly the same DNA and yet can exhibit dramatic differences in the way that they live and grow? It turns out that cells read the genetic code in DNA more like a script to be interpreted than a mould that replicates the same result each time. This is epigenetics and it's the fastest-moving field in biology today. The Epigenetics Revolution traces the thrilling path this discipline has taken over the last twenty years. Biologist Nessa Carey deftly explains such diverse phenomena as how queen bees and ants control their colonies, why tortoiseshell cats are always female, why some plants need a period of cold before they can flower, why we age, develop disease and become addicted to drugs, and much more. Most excitingly, Carey reveals the amazing possibilities for humankind that epigenetics offers for us all - and in the surprisingly near future.
A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Icon Books
From the author of the acclaimed The Epigenetics Revolution (‘A book that would have had Darwin swooning’ – Guardian) comes another thrilling exploration of the cutting edge of human science. For decades after the structure of DNA was identified, scientists focused purely on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions – 98% of the human genome – were dismissed as ‘junk’. But in recent years researchers have discovered that variations in this ‘junk’ DNA underlie many previously intractable diseases, and they can now generate new approaches to tackling them. Nessa Carey explores, for the first time for a general audience, the incredible story behind a controversy that has generated unusually vituperative public exchanges between scientists. She shows how junk DNA plays an important role in areas as diverse as genetic diseases, viral infections, sex determination in mammals, human biological complexity, disease treatments, even evolution itself – and reveals how we are only now truly unlocking its secrets, more than half a century after Crick and Watson won their Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1962.
A Graphic Guide
Author: Cath Ennis
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Epigenetics is the most exciting field in biology today, developing our understanding of how and why we inherit certain traits, develop diseases and age, and evolve as a species. This non-fiction comic book introduces us to genetics, cell biology and the fascinating science of epigenetics, which is rapidly filling in the gaps in our knowledge, allowing us to make huge advances in medicine. We’ll look at what identical twins can teach us about the epigenetic effects of our environment and experiences, why certain genes are 'switched on' or off at various stages of embryonic development, and how scientists have reversed the specialization of cells to clone frogs from a single gut cell. In Introducing Epigenetics, Cath Ennis and Oliver Pugh pull apart the double helix, examining how the epigenetic building blocks and messengers that interpret and edit our genes help to make us, well, us.
How Our Genes Change Our Lives--and Our Lives Change Our Genes
Author: Sharon Moalem MD, PhD
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
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.
Creating Optimal Health with the New Science of Epigenetics
Author: Kenneth R. Pelletier
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Category: Health & Fitness
Our biology is no longer destiny. Our genes respond to everything we do, according to the revolutionary new science of epigenetics. In other words, our inherited DNA doesn’t rigidly determine our health and disease prospects as the previous generation of geneticists believed. Especially in the last ten years, scientists have confirmed that the vast majority of our genes are actually fluid and dynamic. An endless supply of new studies prove that our health is an expression of how we live our lives—that what we eat and think and how we handle daily stress, plus the toxicity of our immediate environment—creates an internal biochemistry that can actually turn genes on or off. Managing these biochemical effects on our genome is the new key to radiant wellness and healthy longevity. Now gaining broad credibility among scientists, the study of epigenetics is at the forefront of modern medicine. According to the author, the real upshot of the epigenetic revolution is that it opens the door to what futurists call personalized medicine. For the first time in a trade book, Dr. Pelletier explains in layperson’s language the genetic biomarkers that will become the standard reference for measuring which specific lifestyle changes are required to optimize a given individual’s health. In the very near future, each person’s state-of-the-art genetic and epigenetic profile—matched with other precise indicators such as assays of the gut microbiome—will guide their daily health practices. This short but profound book by a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine introduces readers to this exciting new field, and reveals the steps that each of us can take today to change our genetic expression and thereby optimize our health for a lifetime.
The Lamarckian Dimension
Author: Eva Jablonka,Marion J. Lamb
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
'...a challenging and useful book, both because it provokes a careful scrutiny of one's own basic ideas regarding evolutionary theory, and because it cuts across so many biological disciplines.' -The Quarterly Review of Biology'In my view, this work exemplifies Theoretical Biology at its best...here is rampant speculation that is consistently based on cautious reasoning from the available data. Even more refreshing is the absence of sloganeering, grandstanding, and 'isms'.' -Biology and Philosophy'Epigenetics is fundamental to understanding both development and gene expression, and not surprisingly, evolutionary biologists have long been fascinated with its proper place in evolutionary theory...Enter Jablonka and Lamb, who provide a thoughtful review of the recent molecular literature and suggest a number of potential consequences.' -EvolutionSince first publication of this controversial book, much of the initial opposition to the ideas it contained has been replaced by a general, although often grudging, acceptance of them. Advances in knowledge, especially at the molecular level, have enhanced general awareness and interest in epigenetics and the evolution of systems that store and transmit information and put any of the authors' speculations on a more solid basis. This paperback edition contains a new Preface that sets out the major changes in the scientific world and in the authors' own thinking that have occurred since the book was published. A new Appendix provides a selected bibliography of the many books and articles about epigenetic inheritance and its role in evolution that have appeared since first publication.
An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics
Author: David S. Moore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Why do we grow up to look, act, and feel as we do? Through most of the twentieth century, scientists and laypeople answered this question by referring to two factors alone: our experiences and our genes. But recent discoveries about how genes work have revealed a new way to understand the developmental origins of our characteristics. These discoveries have emerged from the new science of behavioral epigenetics--and just as the whole world has now heard of DNA, "epigenetics" will be a household word in the near future. Behavioral epigenetics is important because it explains how our experiences get under our skin and influence the activity of our genes. Because of breakthroughs in this field, we now know that the genes we're born with don't determine if we'll end up easily stressed, likely to fall ill with cancer, or possessed of a powerful intellect. Instead, what matters is what our genes do. And because research in behavioral epigenetics has shown that our experiences influence how our genes function, this work has changed how scientists think about nature, nurture, and human development. Diets, environmental toxins, parenting styles, and other environmental factors all influence genetic activity through epigenetic mechanisms; this discovery has the potential to alter how doctors treat diseases, and to change how mental health professionals treat conditions from schizophrenia to post-traumatic stress disorder. These advances could also force a reworking of the theory of evolution that dominated twentieth-century biology, and even change how we think about human nature itself. In spite of the importance of this research, behavioral epigenetics is still relatively unknown to non-biologists. The Developing Genome is an introduction to this exciting new discipline; it will allow readers without a background in biology to learn about this work and its revolutionary implications.
Author: C. David Allis
Publisher: CSHL Press
The regulation of gene expression in many biological processes involves epigenetic mechanisms. In this new volume, 24 chapters written by experts in the field discuss epigenetic effects from many perspectives. There are chapters on the basic molecular mechanisms underpinning epigenetic regulation, discussion of cellular processes that rely on this kind of regulation, and surveys of organisms in which it has been most studied. Thus, there are chapters on histone and DNA methylation, siRNAs and gene silencing; X-chromosome inactivation, dosage compensation and imprinting; and discussion of epigenetics in microbes, plants, insects, and mammals. The last part of the book looks at how epigenetic mechanisms act in cell division and differentiation, and how errors in these pathways contribute to cancer and other human diseases. Also discussed are consequences of epigenetics in attempts to clone animals. This book is a major resource for those working in the field, as well as being a suitable text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on gene regulation.
Author: Richard C. Francis
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Goodbye, genetic blueprint. . . . The first book for general readers on the game-changing field of epigenetics. The burgeoning new science of epigenetics offers a cornucopia of insights—some comforting, some frightening. For example, the male fetus may be especially vulnerable to certain common chemicals in our environment, in ways that damage not only his own sperm but also the sperm of his sons. And it’s epigenetics that causes identical twins to vary widely in their susceptibility to dementia and cancer. But here’s the good news: unlike mutations, epigenetic effects are reversible. Indeed, epigenetic engineering is the future of medicine.
Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
Author: Eva Jablonka,Marion J. Lamb,Anna Zeligowski
Publisher: MIT Press
A pioneering proposal for a pluralistic extension of evolutionary theory, now updated to reflect the most recent research.
Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention
Author: Dawson Church
Publisher: Elite Books
Author Dawson Church applies the insights of the new field of Epigenetics (epi=above, i.e. control above the level of the gene) to healing. Citing hundreds of scientific studies, he shows how beliefs and emotions can trigger the expression of DNA strands. He focuses on a class of genes called Immediate Early Genes or IEGs. These genes turn on within a few seconds of a stimulus. They can be triggered by thoughts or emotions ("I loved that unexpected gift of roses Bill gave me" or "I'm so mad about what Uncle John said at the Christmas party"). Many IEGs are regulatory genes turn on other genes that affect specific aspects of our immune system, such as the production of white blood cells that destroy attacking bacteria and viruses. Epigenetics thus influences our health every day.He coins the new term "Epigenetic Medicine" to describe healing techniques with epigenetic effects. He also summarizes the science behind the infant fields of Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine, both of which offer promising epigenetic medical therapies.
On Genetic Variety and the Human Body
Author: Armand Marie Leroi
Visit Armand Marie Leroi on the web: http://armandleroi.com/index.html Stepping effortlessly from myth to cutting-edge science, Mutants gives a brilliant narrative account of our genetic code and the captivating people whose bodies have revealed it—a French convent girl who found herself changing sex at puberty; children who, echoing Homer’s Cyclops, are born with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads; a village of long-lived Croatian dwarves; one family, whose bodies were entirely covered with hair, was kept at the Burmese royal court for four generations and gave Darwin one of his keenest insights into heredity. This elegant, humane, and engaging book “captures what we know of the development of what makes us human” (Nature).
Author: Jacob Peedicayil,Dennis R. Grayson,Dimitri Avramopoulos
Epigenetics in Psychiatry covers all major areas of psychiatry in which extensive epigenetic research has been performed, fully encompassing a diverse and maturing field, including drug addiction, bipolar disorder, epidemiology, cognitive disorders, and the uses of putative epigenetic-based psychotropic drugs. Uniquely, each chapter correlates epigenetics with relevant advances across genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The book acts as a catalyst for further research in this potentially very important and useful area of psychiatry. The elucidation of basic principles of epigenetic biology points to the creation of more optimal and effective therapies for major classes of psychiatric disease. In this regard, epigenetic therapy, the use of drugs to correct epigenetic defects, may help in the pharmacotherapy of patients with these disorders. With time, such advances may eventually point to replacements for psychotropic drugs presently of symptomatic value and low efficacy. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that other forms of treatment commonly used in the management of psychiatric disorders, like psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy, may also act by epigenetic mechanisms. Chapters review fascinating new areas of research across neuronal stem cells, cognitive disorders, and transgenerational epigenetics through drug addiction Relates broad advances in psychiatric epigenetics to a modern understanding of the genome, transcriptome, and protein Catalyzes knowledge discovery in both basic epigenetic biology and clinical application as epigenetic targets for drug discovery
The Secret of Life
Author: James D. Watson,Andrew Berry
Fifty years ago, James D. Watson, then just twentyfour, helped launch the greatest ongoing scientific quest of our time. Now, with unique authority and sweeping vision, he gives us the first full account of the genetic revolution—from Mendel’s garden to the double helix to the sequencing of the human genome and beyond. Watson’s lively, panoramic narrative begins with the fanciful speculations of the ancients as to why “like begets like” before skipping ahead to 1866, when an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel first deduced the basic laws of inheritance. But genetics as we recognize it today—with its capacity, both thrilling and sobering, to manipulate the very essence of living things—came into being only with the rise of molecular investigations culminating in the breakthrough discovery of the structure of DNA, for which Watson shared a Nobel prize in 1962. In the DNA molecule’s graceful curves was the key to a whole new science. Having shown that the secret of life is chemical, modern genetics has set mankind off on a journey unimaginable just a few decades ago. Watson provides the general reader with clear explanations of molecular processes and emerging technologies. He shows us how DNA continues to alter our understanding of human origins, and of our identities as groups and as individuals. And with the insight of one who has remained close to every advance in research since the double helix, he reveals how genetics has unleashed a wealth of possibilities to alter the human condition—from genetically modified foods to genetically modified babies—and transformed itself from a domain of pure research into one of big business as well. It is a sometimes topsy-turvy world full of great minds and great egos, driven by ambitions to improve the human condition as well as to improve investment portfolios, a world vividly captured in these pages. Facing a future of choices and social and ethical implications of which we dare not remain uninformed, we could have no better guide than James Watson, who leads us with the same bravura storytelling that made The Double Helix one of the most successful books on science ever published. Infused with a scientist’s awe at nature’s marvels and a humanist’s profound sympathies, DNA is destined to become the classic telling of the defining scientific saga of our age.
The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: Harper Collins
The genome's been mapped. But what does it mean? Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Questions that will profoundly impact the way we think about disease, about longevity, and about free will. Questions that will affect the rest of your life. Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington's disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.
A Beginner's Guide to Genetics and Its Applications
Author: Charlotte K. Omoto,Paul F. Lurquin
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Covering newsworthy aspects of contemporary biology—gene therapy, the Human Genome Project, DNA testing, and genetic engineering—as well as fundamental concepts, this book, written specifically for nonbiologists, discusses classical and molecular genetics, quantitative and population genetics—including cloning and genetic diseases—and the many applications of genetics to the world around us, from genetically modified foods to genetic testing. With minimal technical terminology and jargon, Genes and DNA facilitates conceptual understanding. Eschewing the organization of traditional genetics texts, the authors have provided an organic progression of information: topics are introduced as needed, within a broader framework that makes them meaningful for nonbiologists. The book encourages the reader to think independently, always stressing scientific background and current facts.
How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine
Author: Nathaniel Comfort
Publisher: Yale University Press
Almost daily we hear news stories, advertisements, and scientific reports promising that genetic medicine will make us live longer, enable doctors to identify and treat diseases before they harm us, and individualize our medical care. But surprisingly, a century ago eugenicists were making the same promises. This book traces the history of the promises of medical genetics and of the medical dimension of eugenics. While mindful of the benefits of genetic medicine, the book also considers social and ethical issues that cast troublesome shadows over these fields. Keeping his focus on America, Nathaniel Comfort introduces the community of scientists, physicians, and public health workers who have contributed to the development of medical genetics from the nineteenth century to today. He argues that medical genetics is closely related to eugenics, and indeed that the two cannot be fully understood separately. He also carefully examines how the desire to relieve suffering and to improve ourselves genetically, though noble, may be subverted. History makes clear that as patients and consumers we must take ownership of genetic medicine, using it intelligently, knowledgeably, and skeptically.
The Race to Crack the Genetic Code
Author: Matthew Cobb
Publisher: Basic Books
Everyone has heard of the story of DNA as the story of Watson and Crick and Rosalind Franklin, but knowing the structure of DNA was only a part of a greater struggle to understand life’s secrets. Life’s Greatest Secret is the story of the discovery and cracking of the genetic code, the thing that ultimately enables a spiraling molecule to give rise to the life that exists all around us. This great scientific breakthrough has had farreaching consequences for how we understand ourselves and our place in the natural world, and for how we might take control of our (and life’s) future. Life’s Greatest Secret mixes remarkable insights, theoretical dead-ends, and ingenious experiments with the swift pace of a thriller. From New York to Paris, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Cambridge, England, and London to Moscow, the greatest discovery of twentieth-century biology was truly a global feat. Biologist and historian of science Matthew Cobb gives the full and rich account of the cooperation and competition between the eccentric characters—mathematicians, physicists, information theorists, and biologists—who contributed to this revolutionary new science. And, while every new discovery was a leap forward for science, Cobb shows how every new answer inevitably led to new questions that were at least as difficult to answer: just ask anyone who had hoped that the successful completion of the Human Genome Project was going to truly yield the book of life, or that a better understanding of epigenetics or “junk DNA” was going to be the final piece of the puzzle. But the setbacks and unexpected discoveries are what make the science exciting, and it is Matthew Cobb’s telling that makes them worth reading. This is a riveting story of humans exploring what it is that makes us human and how the world works, and it is essential reading for anyone who’d like to explore those questions for themselves.