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Herding Hemingway's Cats Audiobook

Herding Hemingway's Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work

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Publisher's Summary

The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly, or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of dollars to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work? According to legend, Ernest Hemingway was once given a six-toed cat by an old sea captain, and her distinctive descendants still roam the writer's Florida estate today. Scientists now know that the fault driving this profusion of digits lies in a tiny genetic control switch, miles away (in molecular terms) from the gene that "makes" toes. And it's the same mistake that gives rise to multi-toed humans too. There are 2.2 meters of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the "recipes" that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with myriad control switches ensuring they're turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. And figuring out how it all works - how your genes make you, you - is a major challenge for researchers around the world. Drawing on stories ranging from six-toed cats and stickleback hips to wobbly worms and zombie genes, geneticist Kat Arney explores the how our genes work, creating a companion to the book of life itself.

©2016 Kat Arney (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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Performance
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  •  
    Howard 03-13-16
    Howard 03-13-16

    Howard

    ratings
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    13
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    This a very complex story told in an engaging manner It does require your serious attention if you wish to learn something,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah Stephenson 03-10-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Very good"

    Great overview of basic genetic concepts, would recommend to all university students studying the subject. Only issue was the author attempting the voices of the people she interviewed, accents and all. It made it a bit difficult to listen to in places but on the whole it was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loriel13 Boston MA 05-15-16
    Loriel13 Boston MA 05-15-16 Listener Since 2006

    Love facts..hate drivel. Want cutting edge resesrch that is relevant to my daily life - what effects me - you - us. No "50 Shades" for me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A non-scientists misguided interpretation"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who want outdated information, who don't mind the unnecessary use of 5-dollar words to explain what many other truly intelligent authors have given us. She revels in her trips to talk to to famous researchers, her descriptive passages are cloyingly engulfed with the cocky pride of her accomplishments. Pass the barf bag.


    Did Kat Arney do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    No characters - it's NONFICTION


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger. Disappointment. Disgust. I literally batted my iPhone across the room in disgust (I have a great case - no worries). Total waste of money.


    Any additional comments?

    The author needs to know that her works is outdated and provides much incorrect information. I literally had JUST finished another book about genes written by an actual doctor in the midst of genetic research. Thought this book would be a great followup to that. I was wrong.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Jay Dermott
    5/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative and current"

    Kat Arney casts herself well as both advocate and party pooper in the quest to open up the world of the cell and the gene. She has the healthy scepticism of the professional real world lab scientist, a world she knowable and acknowledges that she feels most comfortable in. Too frequently we hear newspaper or TV hype around this field in a frenzy of "New DNA breakthrough" or genes-as-saint-or-sinner discourse. Kat makes it very clear that we have a lot to learn and although there is a lot of promise, there is SO much we don't yet understand.
    I would openly challenge whether there was actually any need to recount the content of the interviews in accented impressions all the time. At worst it was distracting, and this was content that I didn't want to be distracted from. I could have forgiven,and probably enjoyed, the occasional drift into Floridian or Californian soundtrack to emphasize a quirk or bon mot, since it suits Kat's highly engaging style to bring the interviewees to life. I was finding myself relieved when certain recollections were over and in a work which was a series of interview accounts strung together by editorial, this wasn't the intention I think.
    I'd recommend Kat's work to anybody interested in this vital field, along with her wonderful podcasts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lewis MacKenzie
    4/10/16
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    "Excellent in depth look at genetics"

    Great book, excellently narrated. Goes into genetics in quite a bit of detail - so not for a reader who knows nothing about biology - but pays off nicely for those with a little bit of knowledge in genetics.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • L. J. Carey
    Brentwood, Essex
    7/29/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book which makes understanding genes easy"

    This is a great read, the author takes you on her journey of discovery in understanding genes. It's easy to follow and the examples given are easy also easy to understand and imagine.
    I highly recommend this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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