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Publisher's Summary

Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the 20-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies, why tortoiseshell cats are always female, why some plants need cold weather before they can flower, and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.

©2012 Nessa Carey (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Begins Accessible, Then Becomes Too Technical

The first third of the book is accessible, which I define, as a reader, as being able to formulate mental images from what the author is saying. This author did not have mental imagery in the forefront (few writers do, though it is absolutely critical), so in later chapters anyone who is not well verse in biology will not be able to visualize what the author is describing, and the book becomes unintelligible noise - a stream of incoherent syllables - in other words, gobbledygook. This seems to be the rule with books that include biology in the subject matter - authors seem to lose it when things get technical, and they give up on ensuring the reader can visualize (and hence understand) what is being said.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The complicated world of epigenetics

Just when we thought that genetic information does not get affected by the environment as Darwin had solidified, we discover Lemarkien evolution at work.

What does this exactly mean. Well, the environment affects our genes which can and are handed down to our offsprings. Jean-Baptise Lamarck has been somewhat vindicated by discoveries that prove certain adaptations occurs during the lifetime of animals and plants which in some cases improves the fitness and survivability of the animal and more importantly those traits are handed down generations.

The subject is fascinating, but this book is far too complicated for anyone who has not studied the subject, and is well versed in the lingo.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great introduction to the topic

Great book, my first on the topic and I have to say it is neither too deep (most of the times) nor too shallow. You get to know a lot about this mysterious mechanism that changes genes that are always the same into different body cells and how is it possible that individuals with the same genetic material can differ.

What I took away is that this field it is still in quite early stages and it is not really moving that fast because of obstacles of patents and testing etc. so its reall everyday use is not likely to be just around the corner, but it is progressing.

What I did not like was the frevent tone of the narrator and sometimes the smallness of the authors views - like if the most important thing in the field is not how it is gonna change the future but who gets the Nobel prize...

But if i disregard the things in the paragraph above the facts in the book are just amazing...

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too focused on pharmacological potential

The book is too focused on the potential of epigenetics for the formulation of new drugs. I was hoping for information on using nutrition to positively impact gene expression.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good but very technical

Lots of good information here. It does read a bit like a textbook though. If you know and enjoy science, you can follow it but some of it just won't sink in. If you know the ins and outs of physiology really well, this will be a great read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • NE Ohio
  • 06-16-17

Maybe A Bit Over My Head But Great Performance

Where does The Epigenetics Revolution rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is an admission I probably shouldn't make. If I don't feel like giving a book a 4 or 5 star I refrain from ranking it thinking I just didn't get it. If I feel like I wasted my money I do rank 1 star. If it weren't for the enthusiastic reading I would have not rated this book.

Any additional comments?

This is an amazing topic with so much happening that even though I only got 10% of the facts, I am now a 100% believer that this is important work.

Thank you Nesa Carey for even trying to explain it to me and thank you Donna Postel for keeping me listening.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • NAPERVILLE, IL, United States
  • 08-15-17

A Clear & Detailed Explanation Of Epigenetics

Would you listen to The Epigenetics Revolution again? Why?

Yes-
Have already listened to some chapters 3x

What did you like best about this story?

The clear explanations and analogies of complex issues -

What does Donna Postel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Clear voice and doesn't accentuate the S's

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Any additional comments?

As an avid science reader this book is a good one- Am ordering the print version tonight

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Nice Balance

This book has a nice balance of technical information and simple understandable concepts. I really enjoyed the information in this book and the way its lade out. I would recommend it to curious novices like myself.

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DNA's Silent Partner

Well written and informative; anyone with an interest in the biological mechanisms of DNA expression will enjoy reading it. This book offers a lot of cutting edge details with which I was not familiar and I for one will have a second listen to enhance my understanding. Highly recommended.

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  • SG
  • Seattle,WA
  • 08-06-18

Great overview of Eppigenetics

There has been many popular science books that cover DNA and genetics, however, not so much Epigenetics. Nessa Carey's book is a welcome change that taught me quite a bit about Epigenetics, gene expression, the state of the art and the open questions. Some aspects of the book are odd.. such an occasional comment on how there were all men in science 50 years back. Yes that was true, however, I did not understand the sarcasm and a need to vent in the middle of explaining scientific content. Yes, it was and is unfair, however, that was the state of science back then. Why vent in the middle of explaining a scientific concept.