Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have believed that genes are fixed entities that cannot be changed by environment – we inherit them, pass them on to our children and take them with us when we die. Professor Tim Spector reveals how the latest genetic research and his own pioneering studies on epigenetics are rewriting everything we thought we knew about genes, identity and evolution. Conceptually, he explains, our genes are not fixed entities but more like plastic, able to change shape and evolve, and these changes can be passed on to future generations. Tim Spector's dazzling guide to the hidden world of our genes reveals the complex role they play in shaping our identities, and will make you think again about everything from sexuality to religion, cancer to autism, politics to pubic hair, clones to bacteria, and what it is that makes us all so unique and quintessentially human.
Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London and hon consultant Physician at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital. He set up the Twins UK register in 1993, the largest of its kind in the world, which he continues to direct. He has won several academic awards and published more than 500 academic papers. He has appeared in numerous TV documentaries and is often consulted in British and international media on his team's cutting-edge research.
"Professor Tim Spector reveals the astonishing new science that is changing everything we thought we knew about genes and identity. 'Lucid, surprising and with a very human face. It brings epigenetics alive [...] a great read!"
– Michael Mosley
"It is a complex concept, but Spector drifts easily through difficult scientific explanations, offering lucid, easy-to-follow prose [...] a provocative read."
– The Sunday Business Post
"This science book guides us, via artful storytelling and ground breaking research using identical twins, to reconsider the flexibility and power of our genes."
– Ijeoma Onweluzo, The Lady
"It is provocative stuff, but all couched in the fresh and fast-paced style of popular science."
– The Good Book Guide