339 pages, b/w illustrations
Just over a decade since Matt Ridley's seminal Genome, Nessa Carey presents a hugely compelling explanation of the very latest from the frontline of modern biology. 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 can one blueprint lead to so many different results? 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 modern biology.
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. She concludes by investigating the amazing possibilities for the improvement of humankind that epigenetics offers for the surprisingly near future
A book that would have had Darwin swooning--anyone seriously interested in who we are and how we function should read this book
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Nessa Carey has a PhD in virology from the University of Edinburgh and has worked in the biotech industry for nearly ten years. She is the author of Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome.