Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

Genes in Conflict: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements

By: A Burt and R Trivers

602 pages, 13 col illus, 1 map, 32 tabs, line illus

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Mar 2008 | #173572 | ISBN-13: 9780674027220
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £22.95 $30/€26 approx
Hardback | Dec 2006 | #152180 | ISBN: 0674017137
Out of Print Details

About this book

In evolution, most genes survive and spread wihin populations because they increase the ability of their hosts (or their close relatives) to survive and reproduce. But some genes spread in spite of being harmful to the host organism - by distorting their own transmission to the next generation, or by changing how the host behaves towards relatives. As a consequence, different genes in a single organism can have diametrically opposed interests and adaptations.

Covering all species from yeast to humans, this is the first book to tell the story of selfish genetic elements, those continually appearing stretches of DNA that act narrowly to advance their own replication at the expense of the larger organism. As the author shows, these selfish genes are a universal feature of life with pervasive effects, including numerous counter-adaptations. Their spread has created a whole world of socio-genetic interactions within individuals, usually completely hidden from sight. This book introduces the subject of selfish genetic elements in all its aspects, from molecular and genetic to behavioural and evolutionary.

&i;"Genes in Conflict is the most important synthesis in evolutionary genetics of the last half century".&o; - E.O. Wilson

&i;"Robert Trivers is an under-appreciated genius, and one of history's great thinkers in the analysis of behaviour and emotion."&o; - Steven Pinker

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Austin Burt is Reader in Evolutionary Genetics at Imperial College London. Robert Trivers is Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University.

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