Mark Joblingearned a degree in Biochemistry and a DPhil at the University of Oxford, UK, and in 1992 came to the University of Leicester, UK, where he is now a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Sciences and Reader in Genetics. Mark's interests are in Y chromosome diversity as a tool for addressing questions in human evolution, genealogy and forensics, and also male infertility and haploid mutation processes.
Matthew Hurlesearned his degree in biochemistry at Oxford University, UK, and PhD in Leicester, UK. He was until recently a Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University, UK, analyzing genetic variation with the aim of improving our understanding of the human past. He is now at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, UK, investigating the unusual evolutionary dynamics of recently duplicated genomic regions.
Chris Tyler-Smithearned his degree in biochemistry at Oxford University, UK, and PhD in Edinburgh, UK. For the last few years he has been a University Research Lecturer in the Biochemistry Department at Oxford, UK, working on the structure and function of human centromeres, and the application of Y-chromosomal DNA variation to the understanding of the human past. He is now at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, UK, studying the genetic changes that have taken place during recent human evolution.
Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Questions that will profoundly impact the way we think about disease, about longevity, and about free will. Questions that will affect the rest of your life.
Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington's disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.
The work is divided into two parts. Part One marshals behavioral and morphological evidence to argue that humans evolved from other animals. Darwin shoes that human mental and emotional capacities, far from making human beings unique, are evidence of an animal origin and evolutionary development. Part Two is an extended discussion of the differences between the sexes of many species and how they arose as a result of selection. Here Darwin lays the foundation for much contemporary research by arguing that many characteristics of animals have evolved not in response to the selective pressures exerted by their physical and biological environment, but rather to confer an advantage in sexual competition. These two themes are drawn together in two final chapters on the role of sexual selection in humans.
In their Introduction, Professors Bonner and May discuss the place of The Descent in its own time and relation to current work in biology and other disciplines.
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And yet the idea of innate limits—of biology as destiny—dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."