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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived:…
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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through… (2016 original; edició 2018)

de Adam Rutherford (Autor), Siddhartha Mukherjee (Pròleg)

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7482422,996 (4.02)44
This is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex. Since scientists first read the human genome in 2001 it has been subject to all sorts of claims, counterclaims and myths. In fact, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes should be read not as instruction manuals, but as epic poems. DNA determines far less than we have been led to believe about us as individuals, but vastly more about us as a species. In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about history, and what history tells us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.… (més)
Membre:klfleury1966
Títol:A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
Autors:Adam Rutherford (Autor)
Altres autors:Siddhartha Mukherjee (Pròleg)
Informació:The Experiment (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 416 pages
Col·leccions:Read, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:Read

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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes de Adam Rutherford (2016)

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What an utterly fascinating book. I was engrossed. If you have any interest whatsoever in the topic of genetics and/or history, Rutherford gives a great intro to it and does so authoritatively as a respected geneticist but also entertainingly, with a light and humorous touch. He covers everything from Cro-Magnon vs. Neanderthals, what goes into an individual's own geneology, to why inbreeding is bad. He also matter-of-factly, and credibly, debunks some theories along the way.

One of the most fascinating bits was about Charles II, prince of Spain, who suffered from a laundry list of problems both mental and physical. Reason being, he was, like, PROFOUNDLY inbred, due to generations of arranged marriages and the rigid royal rules around that. Rutherford explains that out of about 256 ancestors he should have had, he only had 87 or something (mother is also his aunt, father is also a cousin, etc). I made up the numbers but it was something like that. Yep, ya need some genetic diversity in your gene pool!

Rutherford also get points for the audiobook narration. I tend to approach author self-read audiobooks with trepidation as they are often quite bad when compared with an actual professional voice actor. But his narration was wonderful, and he is up here with Neil Degrasse Tyson in that regard. Certainly with science books like these, there is an advantage in the author narrating as they know the material. Anyway. Terrific, fascinating nonfiction book. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
Adam Rutherford gives us a fascinating tour of what genetics tells us about the history of our species, including the close relatives with whom we interbred, the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

New discoveries show the first H. Sapiens left Africa even earlier than we previously thought, and didn't always take the paths we assumed. Our DNA tells us a great deal about ourselves as a species, but not nearly as much as we like to imagine about ourselves. There just isn't that much diversity in the genome of H. Sapiens, and most of what there is, is among the peoples of Africa. The rest of us haven't been gone from Africa long enough, or separated from each other long enough, to produce that much genetic variation.

Experience and environment have far more to do with who we are as individuals than merely our genes, although some of that experience gets passed along to the next generation or two in the form of a relatively new discovery: epigenetics. Extreme or intense experiences, such as drought or famine, seem to affect how genes get activated and expressed in the next couple of generations after the one that experienced the stress.

The real secrets revealed by our genome are the secrets of our history as a species, including what we did when we met other members of genus homo who looked, and acted, "close enough." Specifically, there seems to have been an awful lot of sex, whether our ancestors met other H. Sapiens, or Neanderthals, or Denisovans (or possibly other close relatives that we're only just starting to discover.) We exchanged genes, and some of those "alien" genes are still in our genome.

In many ways, the most interesting aspect of this is what our genome tells us about the paths of human migration as H. Sapiens spread out from Africa, and Rutherford tells the story very well.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Jul 22, 2021 |
Interesting books about DNA and genetics. Only downside is that it is a bit long-winded occasionally verging on tedious. ( )
  jvgravy | Mar 6, 2021 |
Remarkably Interesting
Likability: ★★★
Depth: ★★★★


Picking up a book that is all about the human genome (where we came from and where we are going) seems, at first, to be a bit overwhelming.

But, Adam Rutherford has managed to make it delightfuly interesting. It is incredible the number of misconceptions that I had put into my mind through culture, education, and what I used to refer to as "common sense" that have been blown away. This book does a great job of dispelling the rumors and explaining the truth behind our DNA.

You should read this book if a college course entitled "Genetics 101: The Fun Edition" would interest you.

You should also read this if you are a Creationist still believing that evolution is not real. It is still perfectly well and good to believe that God made everything. But Science can tell us HOW God did it (if you are prone to see things that way.)

It is a reasonably advanced read, so high school and above seems appropriate. It can best be described as a fun-to-read textbook. ( )
  davehamptonusa | Nov 19, 2020 |
Genetisch onderzoek heeft de laatste 30 jaar een hoge vlucht genomen. Een voorlopig hoogtepunt was de beschrijving van het menselijk genoom, in 2003. Maar sindsdien stond de sector uiteraard niet stil. Er gaat tegenwoordig geen dag meer voorbij of er worden door genetici spectaculaire ontdekkingen of doorbraken gemeld in het onderzoek naar en de bestrijding van ziekten. Dat is uiteraard erg positief.
Dit boek van publicist Adam Rutherford, zelf een specialist in evolutionaire genetica, zet alles eens op een rijtje, of tenminste, geeft een stand van zaken op het moment van de publicatie van dit boek, in 2016, intussen alweer 4 jaar geleden. Geen gemakkelijke taak, want genetica blijkt toch een stuk ingewikkelder in elkaar te zitten dan je zou denken. Rutherford gaat daarom in kleine stapjes te werk, en bewandelt geregeld zijpaden waarin hij wel eens op bepaalde technische aspecten ingaat. Dat maakt dit boek af en toe wat breedvoerig, maar op het einde krijg je wel naar mijn gevoel een erg informatief beeld.
Enkele van de interessante weetjes. Dat een mens amper 20.000 genen telt, veel minder dan verwacht, en minder dan bijvoorbeeld een banaan of een rijstkorrel. Dat het Human Genome Project maar een beperkte uitlezing gaf van de menselijke genetica gaf en dat er nog altijd hele gebieden in het menselijke genoom zijn waar de onderzoekers niet van weten welke functie ze precies hebben. Dat er zo goed als geen ziekten bestaan die aan één enkel gen zijn toe te schrijven, integendeel, dat het er alle schijn van heeft dat bij alle mogelijke fenomenen (negatief en positief) telkens verschillende stukken genetisch materiaal betrokken zijn. Dat het zeker geen zin heeft te beweren dat fenomenen als crimineel gedrag, intelligentie, seksuele geaardheid, enzovoort toe te schrijven zijn een bepaald gen. Dat volgens een eenvoudig wiskundig model te berekenen is dat je maar 600 jaar moet terug gaan in de tijd om een voorouder te vinden die alle Europeanen gemeen hebben. En ook belangrijk: dat de privé-firma’s die je genetisch materiaal onderzoeken om je ‘stamboom’ te ontdekken in de meeste gevallen charlatanbedrijven zijn die nikszeggende algemeenheden opdelven.
Maar Rutherford biedt veel meer dan die weetjes. Hij gaat ook in op netelige kwesties zoals de vraag of zoiets als ras een genetische basis heeft, het nature/nurture debat, en of de menselijke evolutie nog altijd aan de gang is. En uiteraard gaat hij regelrecht in tegen de onzin die door creationisten wordt verspreid. Maar opvallend is vooral zijn zeer beredeneerd en genuanceerde verdediging van de wetenschappelijke aanpak, in kleine stapjes, met woord en wederwoord in volle transparantie, en met veel oog voor de beperkingen van de wetenschappelijke methode.
Enkele kleine minpuntjes: Rutherford is af en toe erg breedvoerig en houdt er nogal van anekdotes te verwerken in zijn relaas. Dat bevordert natuurlijk de leesbaarheid, maar ze zijn niet altijd even geslaagd en leiden wel eens af van de essentie. Rutherford is ook nogal Brits gericht: hij haalt vooral Britse studies aan, en focust graag op onderzoeken naar Britse onderdanen. Maar al bij al heb ik dit heel graag gelezen.
Voor het genetisch onderzoek naar de vroegste mensensoorten: zie mijn review in mijn History-account op Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3505415793. ( )
  bookomaniac | Aug 31, 2020 |
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Rutherford, Adamautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Garceau, PeteDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mukherjee, SiddharthaPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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There are no lone geniuses, never evil geniuses, and very rarely any heretical geniuses. Almost all science is done by very ordinary people working in teams or in cahoots with others in similar or dissimilar fields, and they build knowledge on the shoulders of historical and contemporary giants, as Isaac Newton once suggested, parroting the words of the eleventh-century philosopher Bernard of Chartres, who was referencing the Greek myth of the temporarily blinded hunter Orion, who saw further by sitting a dwarf on his shoulders.

Author's note.
Species is a definition also riven with problems, but the most accepted form is that two species are defined as distinct when they are incapable of producing fertile offspring together. Zebroids, ligers, mules, hinnies, grolar bears* are all relatively rare, relatively heathy hybrids. But none produce fertile offspring of their own. Soon, we shall see why this species definition for humans is not at all adequete.

*Zebra with any other equine animal; male lion with a lady tiger; jack donkey with a female horse; jenny donkey with a male horse; polar bear with a grizzly - rare but presumably utterly terrifying.

1. Horny and mobile.
Yet there is virtually no trace of the Danes in the British genome. [...] Their first interactions with the Brits were piratical parties, with assumed rape and pillage, yet the former left no genetic trace. Like the Romans before them, it seems those Vikings wielded their power from above, absolute Cnuts and Haralds ruling from the top down, with no enduring relations with their subjects.

2. The first European union.
Rome petered out, and upon that rock Christianity grew.

2. The first European union.
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This is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex. Since scientists first read the human genome in 2001 it has been subject to all sorts of claims, counterclaims and myths. In fact, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes should be read not as instruction manuals, but as epic poems. DNA determines far less than we have been led to believe about us as individuals, but vastly more about us as a species. In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about history, and what history tells us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.

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