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what is it about genes? from shalit to siskel, genes have been drawn to film criticism like a moth to a flame. at the cineplex they gather, basking in the glow of movie magic. not content to merely revel in a film's sights and sounds, they then take to the typewriter, sharing their experience with one and all. but what happens when a gene finds its way to the OTHER side of the silver screen (gene hackman)? mukherjee, in not exploring this topic, has written a very bad and boring book
For a well written, generally accessible to the layman, broad, and insightful history of the science & pseudoscience of inheritance and genetics, this is the book. Although it is well documented that the author Siddhartha Mukherjee did not get everything correct, as a physician he has the background to understand the science & how it may apply to current medical practice and he is gifted with the ability to explain these ideas in ways that non-geneticist can grasp. The intimate part of the title, I surmise is due to the the author's engaging approach of coming back to how this topic touches his families (& our ) lives. Towards the end, author explores the bioethics challenges that we as citizens will need to face given current and very near future genetic engineering technology.
An easy read. Mukherjee delved into the personalities of various scientists involved in studies of the gene, which assisted my understanding of the development of their theories. The use of his own family history grounded me in the application of these theories. His examples; his descriptions; everything was so lucid. I found his discussion of gender and gender identity very interesting. The penultimate section (Post Genome) raised all kinds of red flags as to the future of humanity.
Anybody with even minimal curiosity about genetics should read this book.
This very long book (500 pages of text) is mainly a history book. It takes 300 pages just to get to this century.
I love this book so much - it brings tears to my eyes. Although I'm not an anti-scientist, it's nothing I've been drawn to in my life as I'm, generally, confused and befuddled by the language and theory... sometimes I feel as though I'm sinking in quicksand when trying to trudge through an article on ideas that have my interest. Here - still very much science (and still difficult for me to assimilate) - is a read that left me breathless and wanting more... Were I a teacher (literature for me), this book would be an assignment. I'm brimming with new and terrifying thots - resonating with his descriptive phrase of "ethical vertigo". History, Science, Psychology --- Humanity, and a personal saga - Recommend highly.
Warning: this book can cause white supremacists to run out in the sun and start hitting themselves violently in the head, sometimes even with a baseball bat that resembles some tools once used by neanderthals.
Great book. Well written, very readable, but not an easy subject to grasp. It cleared up some of the things I learned about heredity in high school, 45 years ago. And, this book taught me about the huge advances in knowledge about genetics, biology, and and physiology since then. There are also examples, some troubling, about the history of eugenics, and about human experiments in the name of science.
An authoritative and comprehensive look at both history and current events in the world of genetics. Excellent summary of a subject highly relevant to today's bioscience revolution.
As a non-scientist, this was a challenging book for me, but well worth the time. It kept my interest even during the most technical sections. The author is remarkably good at conveying both personal stories and the overall importance of the subject.