the deeper genome why there is more to the human genome than meets the eye

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The Deeper Genome

Author : John Parrington
ISBN : 9780192552471
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 66 MB
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Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought — just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated 'junk'? Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.

Biocode

Author : Dawn Field
ISBN : 9780199687756
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 16 MB
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The living world runs on genomic software - what Dawn Field and Neil Davies call the 'biocode' - the sum of all DNA on Earth. In Biocode, they tell the story of a new age of scientific discovery: the growing global effort to read and map the biocode, and what that might mean for the future. The structure of DNA was identified in 1953, and the whole human genome was mapped by 2003. Since then the new field of genomics has mushroomed and is now operating on an industrial scale. Genomes can now be sequenced rapidly and increasingly cheaply. The genomes of large numbers of organisms from mammals to microbes, have been mapped. Getting your genome sequenced is becoming affordable for many. You too can check paternity, find out where your ancestors came from, or whether you are at risk of some diseases. Some check out the pedigree of their pets, while others turn genomes into art. A stray hair is enough to crudely reconstruct the face of the owner. From reading to constructing: the first steps to creating artificial life have already been taken. Some may find the rapidity of developments, and the potential for misuse, alarming. But they also open up unprecedented possibilities. The ability to read DNA has changed how we view ourselves and understand our place in nature. From the largest oceans, to the insides of our guts, we are able to explore the biosphere as never before, from the genome up. Sequencing technology has made the invisible world of microbes visible, and biodiversity genomics is revealing whole new worlds within us and without. The findings are transformational: we are all ecosystems now. Already the first efforts at 'barcoding' entire ecological communities and creating 'genomic observatories' have begun. The future, the authors argue, will involve biocoding the entire planet.

Junk Dna

Author : Nessa Carey
ISBN : 9781848318267
Genre : Science
File Size : 57. 79 MB
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From the author of the acclaimed The Epigenetics Revolution (‘A book that would have had Darwin swooning’ – Guardian) comes another thrilling exploration of the cutting edge of human science. For decades after the structure of DNA was identified, scientists focused purely on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions – 98% of the human genome – were dismissed as ‘junk’. But in recent years researchers have discovered that variations in this ‘junk’ DNA underlie many previously intractable diseases, and they can now generate new approaches to tackling them. Nessa Carey explores, for the first time for a general audience, the incredible story behind a controversy that has generated unusually vituperative public exchanges between scientists. She shows how junk DNA plays an important role in areas as diverse as genetic diseases, viral infections, sex determination in mammals, human biological complexity, disease treatments, even evolution itself – and reveals how we are only now truly unlocking its secrets, more than half a century after Crick and Watson won their Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1962.

Genes Chromosomes And Disease From Simple Traits To Complex Traits To Personalized Medicine

Author : Nicholas W. Gillham
ISBN :
Genre : Genetic disorders
File Size : 35. 79 MB
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This readable overview covers the rise of medical genetics through the past century, and the eugenic impulses it has inspired. Nicholas Gillham reviews the linkages between genes and disease; ethnic groups & rsquo; differential susceptibility to genetic traits and disorders; personalized medicine; and crucial social and ethical issues arising from the field & rsquo;s progress.

Redesigning Life

Author : John Parrington
ISBN : 9780198766827
Genre : Science
File Size : 51. 7 MB
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Since the birth of civilisation, human beings have manipulated other life-forms. We have selectively bred plants and animals for thousands of years to maximize agricultural production and cater to our tastes in pets. The observation of the creation of artificial animal and plant variants was a key stimulant for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The ability to directly engineer the genomes of organisms first became possible in the 1970s, when the gene for human insulin was introduced into bacteria to produce this protein for diabetics. At the same time, mice were modified to produce human growth hormone, and grew huge as a result. But these were only our first tottering steps into the possibilities of genetic engineering. In the past few years, the pace of progress has accelerated enormously. We can now cut and paste genes using molecular scissors with astonishing ease, and the new technology of genome editing can be applied to practically any species of plants or animals. 'Mutation chain reaction' can be used to alter the genes of a population of pests, such as flies; as the modified creatures breed, the mutation is spread through the population, so that within a few generations the organism is almost completely altered. At the same time, scientists are also beginning to synthesize new organisms from scratch. These new technologies hold much promise for improving lives. Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients, by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing could be used to engineer species with increased food output, and the ability to thrive in challenging climates. New bacterial forms may be used to generate energy. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas and potential dangers, pressing issues that are already upon us given the speed of scientific developments. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring - and would designer babies be limited to the rich? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic lifeforms into complex ecosystems? John Parrington explains the nature and possibilities of these new scientific developments, which could usher in a brave, new world. We must rapidly come to understand its implications if we are to direct its huge potential to the good of humanity and the planet.

Life S Ratchet

Author : Peter M. Hoffmann
ISBN : 9780465022533
Genre : Science
File Size : 43. 20 MB
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A physicist describes how life emerges from the random motion of atoms through sophisticated cellular machinery and describes the long quest to determine the true nature of life from ancient Greece to the study of modern nanotechnology. 20,000 first printing.

The Logic Of Chance

Author : Eugene V. Koonin
ISBN : 013262317X
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 31 MB
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The Logic of Chance offers a reappraisal and a new synthesis of theories, concepts, and hypotheses on the key aspects of the evolution of life on earth in light of comparative genomics and systems biology. The author presents many specific examples from systems and comparative genomic analysis to begin to build a new, much more detailed, complex, and realistic picture of evolution. The book examines a broad range of topics in evolutionary biology including the inadequacy of natural selection and adaptation as the only or even the main mode of evolution; the key role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution and the consequent overhaul of the Tree of Life concept; the central, underappreciated evolutionary importance of viruses; the origin of eukaryotes as a result of endosymbiosis; the concomitant origin of cells and viruses on the primordial earth; universal dependences between genomic and molecular-phenomic variables; and the evolving landscape of constraints that shape the evolution of genomes and molecular phenomes. "Koonin's account of viral and pre-eukaryotic evolution is undoubtedly up-to-date. His "mega views" of evolution (given what was said above) and his cosmological musings, on the other hand, are interesting reading." Summing Up: Recommended Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association.

My Beautiful Genome

Author : Lone Frank
ISBN : 9781851688647
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 48 MB
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What if you could predict your future – which political party you will vote for, what kind of person you will marry, which disease will end your life, whether your blue mood will fester into something more troubling, even debilitating. Would you want to know? Taking a uniquely intimate and cheeky approach to the personal genomics revolution, internationally acclaimed science writer Lone Frank swabs up her genetic code to explore who any of us are in the days when a catalogue of your full six billion DNA building blocks is available for $10,000 and the local Walgreens offers genetic screening tests to anyone. She challenges the august Nobel Prize winners and the hyperactive business mavericks who are pushing to map and decipher every fetus’s genome within the next decade. She tests the potential to detect diseases early, as well as our capacity to develop chronic anxieties when our DNA is seen as a death sentence. She ponders whether personality, including her own above-average irritability and non-conformity, can really be reduced to biochemistry. And she prods the psychologists who hope to uncover just how much or how little our environment will matter in the new genetic century – a quest made all the more gripping as Frank considers her family’s and her own struggles with depression. At turns compellingly candid and irreverently insightful, Frank provides the first truly personal account of the new science of consumer-led genomics – and to what extent our genes determine our destiny. Lone Frank is the author of The Neurotourist: Postcards from the Edge of Brain Science (ISBN 9781851687961). She holds a PhD in neurobiology and was previously a research scientist working in the biotechnology industry in the United States. An award-winning science journalist and TV documentary presenter, she has written for such publicationsn as Scientific American, Science, and Nature Biotechnology and is a frequent speaker at venues including Harvard Medical School, the Library of Congress, the Royal Society, and TED. Praise for The Neurotourist “A fascinating exploration of the most intriguing brain experiments so far.” New Scientist “Riveting.” Rita Carter, author of Mapping the Mind

50 Genetics Ideas You Really Need To Know

Author : Mark Henderson
ISBN : 9781623651848
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 58 MB
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In recent years knowledge of our genetic code has changed our understanding of life on Earth. New genetic technologies are transforming the way we live and promise treatments for otherwise incurable diseases. But these advances are also generating controversy, particularly surrounding issues such as cloning and designer babies. In 50 Genetics Ideas, Mark Henderson distills the central ideas of genetics in a series of clear and concise essays. Beginning with the theory of evolution, and covering such topics as the genome and how nature and nurture work together, he not only illuminates the role of genes in shaping our behaviour and sexuality, but also the very latest, cutting-edge developments in gene therapy and artificial life. Accessible and informative, 50 Genetics Ideas is a timely introduction to this young and ground-breaking strand of science.

Introducing Epigenetics

Author : Cath Ennis
ISBN : 9781848319035
Genre : Science
File Size : 77. 2 MB
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Epigenetics is the most exciting field in biology today, developing our understanding of how and why we inherit certain traits, develop diseases and age, and evolve as a species. This non-fiction comic book introduces us to genetics, cell biology and the fascinating science of epigenetics, which is rapidly filling in the gaps in our knowledge, allowing us to make huge advances in medicine. We’ll look at what identical twins can teach us about the epigenetic effects of our environment and experiences, why certain genes are 'switched on' or off at various stages of embryonic development, and how scientists have reversed the specialization of cells to clone frogs from a single gut cell. In Introducing Epigenetics, Cath Ennis and Oliver Pugh pull apart the double helix, examining how the epigenetic building blocks and messengers that interpret and edit our genes help to make us, well, us.

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