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Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes | [Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD]

Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes

Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being. In the brave new world we're rapidly rocketing into, genetic knowledge has become absolutely crucial. Inheritance provides an indispensable roadmap for this journey.
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning physician and New York Times best-selling author Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD, reveals how genetic breakthroughs are completely transforming our understanding of both the world and our lives.

Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being.

In the brave new world we're rapidly rocketing into, genetic knowledge has become absolutely crucial. Inheritance provides an indispensable roadmap for this journey by teaching you:

  • Why you may have recovered from the psychological trauma caused by childhood bullying - but your genes may remain scarred for life
  • How fructose is the sugar that makes fruits sweet - but if you have certain genes, consuming it can buy you a one-way trip to the coroner's office
  • Why ingesting common painkillers is like dosing yourself repeatedly with morphine - if you have a certain set of genes
  • How insurance companies legally use your genetic data to predict the risk of disability for you and your children - and how that impacts the coverage decisions they make for your family
  • How to have the single most important conversation with your doctor - one that can save your life
And finally: Why people with rare genetic conditions hold the keys to medical problems affecting millions

In this trailblazing book, Dr. Moalem employs his wide-ranging and entertaining interdisciplinary approach to science and medicine - explaining how art, history, superheroes, sex workers, and sports stars all help us understand the impact of our lives on our genes, and our genes on our lives. Inheritance will profoundly alter how you view your genes, your health - and your life.

©2014 Sharon Moalem MD PhD (P)2014 Hachette Audio

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  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-01-14
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-01-14 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "Joining Many Good Books..."

    refuting the notion of the Tabula Rasa (Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, Nicolas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance, and Edward O. Wilson's On Human Nature, for example), Moalem's Inheritance continues this idea with an important twist: she shows not only how genes shape how we respond to the environment but also explores how the environment shapes the gene. Cutting edge and well written. An important read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph G. Weigel Morehead, KY via Philadelphia, PA 04-19-14
    Joseph G. Weigel Morehead, KY via Philadelphia, PA 04-19-14 Member Since 2008

    J Weigel

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    "Not science writing"
    What disappointed you about Inheritance?

    Having recently listened to The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, I was ready for another fresh look at concepts studied years ago. Epigenetics fascinate me, so I was excited to start the drive during which I planned to listen to this book. Much to my chagrin, it somehow managed to be at once too pandering and too technical, with writing that was cringe-worthy (comparing phenotypic expression of genetic disorders to Louis Vuitton branding) used to make the multiple genetic disorders delivered rapid fire somehow more accessible. The passage about the dinner party made me realize what was bothering me so much. This author is too fixated on his own skill to have any concept of his audience. I neither need to be told I'm going to be taken on a trip into the unknown (I read the cover), not do I care about genetic disorders for which I have been given no context. I'm sure the author is a brilliant physician and geneticist, but the book was bad enough to make me abandon my curiosity. Wikipedia and journal articles are far more digestible.


    What could Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could have hired an author/ghost writer or a better editor with more invested.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD’s performances?

    Absolutely not.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Inheritance?

    I think a fundamental shift in tone was needed.


    Any additional comments?

    I would really like to read the book I thought this was going to be. I believe the author has the knowledge to make that book possible. I hope that book becomes a reality.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 07-27-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 07-27-14 Member Since 2011

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "Intriguing Account of Epigenetics & Dismorphology"

    I found this to be a fascinating look into the world of Epigenetics. This is the idea that one’s DNA is not completely fixed at birth but can be altered. More correctly, it is the expression of one’s DNA that can be altered during the course of one’s lifetime based on various environmental factors. This confirms what many have believed for years that proper nutrition, regular exercise and adhering to an all-around healthy lifestyle can, indeed, contribute to better quality of life; and not just for yourself, but for your children, your unborn children, as well.

    Dismorphology is the study of external body features that can lead to a diagnosis of one’s genetic make-up. You will never again be able to look and your friend’s toes without playing the diagnostician.

    Sharon Moalen narrate his own book. And unlike some others I have listened to recently, he is a very good narrator. He avoids the common pitfall of reading in a monotone, as if they were not familiar with their own material, but has the delivery of an expert giving a lecture. An exercise in which I am sure he has a fair amount of experience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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