Identically Different: Why We Can Change Our Genes

Overview


If you share most of the same genetic material, what makes you so different from your siblings? How much are the things you choose to do everyday determined by your genes and how much is your own free will?

Drawing on his own cutting-edge research of identical twins, leading geneticist Tim Spector shows us how the same upbringing, the same environment,
and even the same exact genes can lead to very different outcomes. Challenging, ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.13
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$26.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (41) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $1.99   
  • Used (26) from $1.99   
Identically Different: Why We Can Change Our Genes

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview


If you share most of the same genetic material, what makes you so different from your siblings? How much are the things you choose to do everyday determined by your genes and how much is your own free will?

Drawing on his own cutting-edge research of identical twins, leading geneticist Tim Spector shows us how the same upbringing, the same environment,
and even the same exact genes can lead to very different outcomes. Challenging, entertaining, and enlightening, Identically Different helps us understand what makes each of us unique and so quintessentially human.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spector, a genetic epidemiologist, has a wealth of case studies to draw from for his research on genes and epigenetics (the mechanism by which nongenomic elements affect genes): he’s the founder and director of the TwinsUK registry, home to data on over 12,000 pairs of twins. He’s spent the past two decades studying genetically identical siblings; for 17 of those years, he ascribed to the “gene-centric” view of things. But he felt like he was “missing something.” That turned out to be the concept of “acquired inheritance,” whereby environmental, hormonal, or other external stimuli modify one’s genetic makeup. Perhaps the most interesting consequence of this is that such an altered blueprint can then be passed on to future generations. But drastic changes can occur even within one’s own lifetime. For example, a cabdriver in London is subjected to intense route training in order to navigate the city’s intricate streets; as a result, his hippocampus—a part of the brain that deals with spatial navigation—becomes enlarged. However, upon retirement, the cabbie’s hippocampus will likely shrink. Spector’s research has far-reaching implications in fields as diverse as oncology and parenting, and it provides a new perspective on the age-old nature-vs.-nurture debate—turns out they may be on the same team. Agent: Sophie Lambert and Kevin Conroy Scott, Tibor Jones & Associates (U.K.). (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Genes dictate our anatomy, emotions and behavior, except when they don't, according to this ingenious account of how inheritance and environments--including our parents' environment--vie to make an individual. Physician and TV commentator Spector (Genetic Epidemiology/King's Coll. London; Your Genes Unzipped, 2003) fills his book with entertaining anecdotes of identical twins (he is director of the world's largest twin registry) and examples from popular culture to make a convincing case that inheritance is more complicated than we think but no less fascinating. The idea that genes make us what we are ruled for half a century, until the 1960s, when a revolutionary generation insisted that our environment makes us what we are. Nowadays, scientists agree that both have an influence, but Spector cautions that DNA does not hardwire our lives. It turns out that actions can physically alter genes and that--despite what we learned in biology class--we can pass acquired traits to our children or even grandchildren. This process, epigenetics, means, for example, that a person who overeats transmits the risk of obesity for several generations. Genetics turns up in surprising places. Identical twins raised apart have remarkably similar personalities, sharing qualities such as optimism, empathy and a sense of humor (or lack thereof). Environmental factors also deliver plenty of surprises. Most readers will squirm to learn that upbringing exerts remarkably little influence on how children turn out. They are far more likely to emulate their friends than their parents, however competent and loving. Abusive parents are a different matter; crime, abusive behavior and mental illness have a disturbing tendency to run in families. A delightfully thought-provoking overview of the nature-vs.-nurture debate.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781468306606
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 699,747
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author


Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London and a consultant physician at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital. He set up the Twins UK register in 1993, the largest of its kind in the world, which he continues to direct.
He has appeared in numerous television documentaries and is often interviewed by the media on his team’s research.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)