The Gene

The Gene

An Intimate History

Book - 2016
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THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies --a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to "read" and "write" our own genetic information?

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee's own family--with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness--cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation--from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies , "It's hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement." Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or "write" the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2016, ©2016.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476733500
Branch Call Number: 616. 042 MUK
Characteristics: xi, 592 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), portraits ; 25 cm

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a
AaronAardvark1940
Nov 14, 2017

Wow!
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.

y
yycdaisy
May 22, 2017

This very long book (500 pages of text) is mainly a history book. It takes 300 pages just to get to this century.

m
m0k1m3
Apr 12, 2017

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.

o
Orcacreative
Jan 16, 2017

Epic!
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.

beacutfelgroluc2014utr Dec 24, 2016

Superb read.

t
Tylerharvey
Dec 17, 2016

This book was a gem.

r
rogyoung2
Nov 20, 2016

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.

s
SteveBush
Oct 26, 2016

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.

g
GummiGirl
Aug 08, 2016

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.

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Tylerharvey
Dec 17, 2016

Tylerharvey thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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