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Publisher's Summary

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 20-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.
©2012 Nessa Carey (P)2017 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By wbiro on 07-26-17

Begins Accessible, Then Becomes Too Technical

The first third of the book is accessible, which I define, as a reader, as being able to formulate mental images from what the author is saying. This author did not have mental imagery in the forefront (few writers do, though it is absolutely critical), so in later chapters anyone who is not well verse in biology will not be able to visualize what the author is describing, and the book becomes unintelligible noise - a stream of incoherent syllables - in other words, gobbledygook. This seems to be the rule with books that include biology in the subject matter - authors seem to lose it when things get technical, and they give up on ensuring the reader can visualize (and hence understand) what is being said.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Philomath on 07-06-17

The complicated world of epigenetics

Just when we thought that genetic information does not get affected by the environment as Darwin had solidified, we discover Lemarkien evolution at work.

What does this exactly mean. Well, the environment affects our genes which can and are handed down to our offsprings. Jean-Baptise Lamarck has been somewhat vindicated by discoveries that prove certain adaptations occurs during the lifetime of animals and plants which in some cases improves the fitness and survivability of the animal and more importantly those traits are handed down generations.

The subject is fascinating, but this book is far too complicated for anyone who has not studied the subject, and is well versed in the lingo.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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