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Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters | [Matt Ridley]

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the 23 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. Matt Ridley here probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome.
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Publisher's Summary

The genome's been mapped. But what does it mean?

Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the 23 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.

©1999 Matt Ridley (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Among many recent books on genes, behavior and evolution, Ridley's is one of the most informative. It's also the most fun to read." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (112 )
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  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-21-12
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2001

    Letting the rest of the world go by

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    "Still useful today."

    Even though it's published in 1999 the book is still useful today. I was reluctant to get it because I though it might be dated. He really does explain the human genome better than anything I've read. The book was a necessary background to educate me about all of this talk I've been hearing about the human genome. Some of his assertions haven't held up since the publication of the book, but don't let that dissuade you from reading this highly informative book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Buberel Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-25-11
    Jason Buberel Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-25-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Nice genome overview"

    While it doesn't necessarily break new ground when it comes to recent discoveries about our genome, Ridley does a good job of exploring the implications of some of the most valued discoveries about our genome.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 02-09-12
    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2009

    on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...

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    "Great overview of genetics research"

    Written in 1999, this is a bit dated but it provides a great summary of the fundamentals of genetics. Clear writing and fascinating case studies elucidate the fundamentals of heredity, traits carried on X & Y chromosomes, Eugenics, nature vs. nurture, the future of genetically-based treatments, and so much more. Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffery T. Harris HAMDEN, CT, United States 08-21-13
    Jeffery T. Harris HAMDEN, CT, United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Dry Narration, Good In Small Doses"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend this book to a friend simply because of my own fascination with the subject. This book does a nice job of giving a relatively wide coverage of the human genome, going into a good amount of detail while not losing the reader into too much technicality.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like all chromosomes equally.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I thought the narrator was good, not great. For whatever reason, many non-fiction books in these categories feel they need to get that certain kind of narrator that often times doesn't fit. Someone a little more lively would have been a better fit.


    Any additional comments?

    If learning about the human genome is interesting to you, then this book is a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Hutchinson, MN, United States 06-30-13
    Amazon Customer Hutchinson, MN, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Yesterday's Issue's"

    I did not enjoy this book, BUT it doesn't mean you won't. Published in 1999, I personally do not feel that it holds up very well. The reason for this is, the author spends really a very small amount of time on the basic science, and quite a lot on social implications and ethics. If this had been a sort of "Traveler's Guide to the Genome", ...which is really what I was hoping for... then I don't think it would have aged much. But social issues, those change quite quickly, and the pop-culture audience is more informed on some things than they might have been in 1999.

    However, this is just my opinion! The narrator is great. If you know absolutely nothing about genetics, as in, haven't turned on a tv or watched a movie in the past 10 years, then you might find this book really interesting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Leo Shunyakov bolivar, mo usa 08-09-13
    Leo Shunyakov bolivar, mo usa 08-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "sugary water"

    Little substance. No clear organization. No substantial insight. Might be ok for readers with minimal education. Would compare with juicy drink. Chirpy, though.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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