The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

Sold by Random House
3
Free sample

Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races?

Examining the hidden secrets of human evolution in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the revolutionary science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. Replete with marvelous anecdotes and remarkable information, from the truth about the real Adam and Eve to the way differing racial types emerged, The Journey of Man is an enthralling, epic tour through the history and development of early humankind.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Spencer Wells is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and the Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor at Cornell University. He leads the Genographic Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet. Wells received his PhD from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has written two books, The Journey of Man and Deep Ancestry. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, a documentary filmmaker.
Read more
Collapse
4.3
3 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Oct 31, 2012
Read more
Collapse
Pages
240
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780307830456
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
“Rutherford describes Humanimal as being about the paradox of how our evolutionary journey turned ‘an otherwise average ape’ into one capable of creating complex tools, art, music, science, and engineering. It’s an intriguing question, one his book sets against descriptions of the infinitely amusing strategies and antics of a dizzying array of animals.”—The New York Times Book Review

Publisher’s note: Humanimal was published in the UK under the title The Book of Humans.

Evolutionary theory has long established that humans are animals: Modern Homo sapiens are primates who share an ancestor with monkeys and other great apes. Our genome is 98 percent identical to a chimpanzee’s. And yet we think of ourselves as exceptional. Are we?

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores the profound paradox of the “human animal.” Looking for answers across the animal kingdom, he finds that many things once considered exclusively human are not: In Australia, raptors have been observed starting fires to scatter prey; in Zambia, a chimp named Julie even started a “fashion” of wearing grass in one ear. We aren’t the only species that communicates, makes tools, or has sex for reasons other than procreation. But we have developed a culture far more complex than any other we’ve observed. Why has that happened, and what does it say about us?

Humanimal is a new evolutionary history—a synthesis of the latest research on genetics, sex, migration, and much more. It reveals what unequivocally makes us animals—and also why we are truly extraordinary.
This compelling new book covers the most important revolution since Darwin—how cutting-edge genetic science will soon allow us to speed up and transform our own evolution, and the moral choices we must make as we improve, alter, and even duplicate ourselves.

The fact is that, until now, human evolution has been exceedingly slow. But there’s about to be a profound change in this process, with a perfect storm of revolutions in the fields of genetic modification, stem cells, DNA sequencing, and embryo manipulation. The result is that it will soon be possible for parents to consciously choose the genes of their children, defining their intelligence, appearance, athletic ability, and health. The ramifications could be enormous, with each generation smarter, more technologically proficient, and better able to design the genes of their offspring. Where will this evolution on steroids take us?

Designer Genes presents a balanced view, describing the underlying science in accessible terms and discussing the pros and cons of implementing this new technology. A leading expert in the field, Steven Potter covers a broad range of topics on this challenging subject, presenting fascinating details of case histories and ongoing discoveries: 
 
• the true story of “Adam,” who as an early embryo was genetically selected to save his sickly sister
• the surprising human genome—and DNA sequence comparisons across species
• dogs, an informative example of human-driven evolution
• the sequencing revolution, with the price of determining a person’s complete DNA sequence becoming much more affordable
• genetic diseases and what is being discovered about them every day
• stem cells and their almost magical powers
 
Designer Genes also investigates such controversial questions as: When is an embryo a person? Are we smart enough to pick optimal gene combinations? What will the government’s role be?
Science has brought us an astonishing understanding of the genetic basis of life, as well as potent new power to guide the genetic destiny of humanity. What will we do next?
Written by two of the country's top genealogists, this is the first book to explain how new and groundbreaking genetic testing can help you research your ancestry

According to American Demographics, 113 million Americans have begun to trace their roots, making genealogy the second most popular hobby in the country (after gardening). Enthusiasts clamor for new information from dozens of subscription-based websites, email newsletters, and magazines devoted to the subject. For these eager roots-seekers looking to take their searches to the next level, DNA testing is the answer.

After a brief introduction to genealogy and genetics fundamentals, the authors explain the types of available testing, what kind of information the tests can provide, how to interpret the results, and how the tests work (it doesn't involve digging up your dead relatives). It's in expensive, easy to do, and the results are accurate: It's as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek and popping a sample in the mail.

Family lore has it that a branch of our family emigrated to Argentina and now I've found some people there with our name. Can testing tell us whether we're from the same family?

My mother was adopted and doesn't know her ethnicity. Are there any tests available to help her learn about her heritage? I just discovered someone else with my highly unusual surname. How can we find out if we have a common ancestor? These are just a few of the types of genealogical scenarios readers can pursue. The authors reveal exactly what is possible-and what is not possible-with genetic testing. They include case studies of both famous historial mysteries and examples of ordinary folks whose exploration of genetic genealogy has enabled them to trace their roots.
©2020 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.