By Siddhartha Mukherjee
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling writer of The Emperor of All Maladies—a incredible heritage of the gene and a reaction to the defining query of the long run: What turns into of being human after we learn how to “read” and “write” our personal genetic information?
The striking Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, terrific, and illuminating as his terribly winning biography of melanoma. Weaving technology, social background, and private narrative to inform us the tale of 1 of an important conceptual breakthroughs of recent occasions, Mukherjee animates the search to appreciate human heredity and its incredible effect on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.
Throughout the narrative, the tale of Mukherjee’s personal family—with its tragic and bewildering historical past of psychological illness—cuts like a vibrant, purple line, reminding us of the numerous questions that cling over our skill to translate the technological know-how of genetics from the laboratory to the true global. In fantastic prose and with an intuition for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of study and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, throughout the innovative twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.
As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s tough to consider many books for a normal viewers that experience rendered any region of recent technological know-how and expertise with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An impressive achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial historical past of a systematic thought coming to existence, and an important guidance for the ethical complexity brought by way of our skill to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everybody curious about the definition and way forward for humanity. this is often the main an important technology of our time, in detail defined through a grasp.
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Extra resources for The Gene: An Intimate History
Pricing ecosystem service values makes it possible to include them in national accounts. This would focus attention on the question of the sustainability of current growth of apparent prosperity. Why conserve bird biodiversity? 27 The extent to which ecosystem services are dependent on biodiversity is arguable. In many cases, such as flood protection or carbon sequestration, it may be biomass rather than biodiversity that is important. A single-species plantation may function just as well as the diverse natural forest it replaced.
Meanwhile we can afford to continue business as usual. In addition to utilitarian arguments, there are ethical reasons for conservation. Environmental ethics is a relatively new subject; the environment is barely treated in most of the main streams of philosophical tradition and thought. Consider a particular environmental decision, such as whether to develop a new mine in a wilderness area. Harm might be done to natural beauty or to particular species. There might be damage from clearance of vegetation or pollution of watercourses.
It is outside the scope of this chapter to discuss in detail just how good these indicators are. It would be wrong to claim that they are either complete or ideal. They have, however, contributed in a major way to making some facts about the status and location of biodiversity more explicit and thus more susceptible to political discussion. There are several reasons why birds have proved to be good indicators. In part these are biological. It helps that birds are conspicuous and relatively easy to find and identify, and that their taxonomy is relatively well agreed.