The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

by Bryan Sykes
4.3 30

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The Seven Daughters of Eve 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Lyonness More than 1 year ago
It's such a pleasure to read a book like this. Sykes knows how to write to engage and at times amuse the lay reader. He doesn't bog down his prose with jargon, nor bore you with esoteric droning. He just tells the story and he tells it well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have an interest in genealogy or the history and science behind DNA, this is a very readable book. The author keeps the writing relatively simple and easy to comprehend. As a skeptic, I would want to check out the research before commenting on the validity/veracity of the information presented. That said, I enjoyed the book and feel it introduced me to new [to me] ideas.
photosapien More than 1 year ago
Archeology is a very inexact science. We know so very little and try to make up for the rest with supposition and theory. The unlooked for introduction of DNA science and the ability to discover such strong evidence regarding the history of our species puts existing archeological evidence in a very new light. This is a fascinating and thought provoking book both on a grand theoretical scale, and on the personal level as we begin to understand the development of homo sapiens, and see the implications for our own personal forbearers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Seven Daughters of Eve was a book I couldn't put down. The anectdotes, humor, history and science combined for a pleasurable and very educational read. I appreciated the author's thoroughness at explaining his scientific proof, rather than hoping the reader will press the "I believe" button. He also explains how he handled scepticism and questions that rose about his work. I loved this book! I have to admit, being a biochemist myself, I found it an easy read. I cannot say whether a non-scientific reader would find it as easy. However, I feel he does a great job at explaining technical information at an approrpiate level of detail without bogging the reader down. You MUST read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very entertaining and informative. Mr. Sykes does a great job of conveying the scientific material in a non-scientific way, so that the reader gets a real sense of the humanity involved. I found it very interesting how his book tied in so well with Jared Diamond's 'Guns,Germs,and Steel'. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Seven Daughters of Eve was so well written, humorous, and moving that I found myself wishing Bryan Sykes had taught my science classes in school. The book took this reader on a journey through the analytical and sometimes tedious process of scientific discovery and proof. Via Bryan Sykes passion and excitement for science and genetics, the author inspires enthusiasm for the topic. The world of research is communicated in terms lay people can understand. But more than an account of research findings, this book reveals a simple universal truth: We are all closely connected.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
Bryan Sykes has written a supremely fascinating book. If you are interested in DNA or genetics or ancestry or science at all, you will love this book. If you've ever HEARD of DNA or genetics or science, or tried to trace your family tree, you will love this book :) Dr Sykes is one of the progenitors of modern DNA research. He is the first to propose that the mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited in an unbroken line from our mothers (and they from their mothers, etc), can be used to trace ancestry. The book starts with the discovery of a frozen corpse, dabbles in hamster breeding, segues into royalty, and ends with the knowledge of the maternal legacies worldwide. The frozen corpse is dubbed, appropriately, The Iceman. In 1991, two climbers come across a body in the Italian Alps. While everyone at first thinks it's perhaps the discovery of a missing climber, the primitive ice pick and other tools start the slow dawning of realization that this is a find of international importance—the body of a man who is thousands of years old. Eventually carbon dating put the Iceman at 5000-5350 years old. DNA was extracted and analyzed, and it was the same as modern Europeans. In fact, the mDNA was precisely the same as one of the samples Sykes had taken from a friend during his mDNA studies. This meant that Marie, his friend, had an unbroken genetic link between her and the Iceman (or technically with his mother). Sykes was fascinated by the ability to find this connection, and by the fact that the mDNA stayed intact through thousands of years of descendants. He decided to collect as many samples as possible from all over the world to see if there were maternal lines that modern people descended from, and if so, where, and how many. In the initial mDNA studies, the golden hamster was used as a test. Supposedly, ALL the golden hamsters on earth descend from one female. Golden hamsters are the popular pet hamsters, and also are used in laboratories. If they all truly come from one female, they should all have the same mDNA, and it should be intact through the many many MANY generations of hamsters we have now. This turned out to be in fact 100% accurate. All the golden hamsters on earth are closely related through their mothers. The mDNA of Pacific Islanders was used to finally solve the argument about whether they migrated from the Americas Westward, or whether they originated from the far East of Asia and came East. It was instrumental in the mystery of the bodies discovered in Russia, that were thought to be the last of the Romanovs, the Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were executed in 1918. Another puzzle that Sykes' studies figured out was whether modern Europeans came from the original hunters and gatherers, or from the later farming peoples. I went to flip through this book when I started this review, and ended up reading it cover to cover AGAIN. It is one of my favorite science books, and riveting is truly the best word to describe it. It reads like a suspense thriller! Highly recommend to everyone!
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ApexAnnie More than 1 year ago
Bryan Sykes is the exception among scientists - capable of reaching the average reader's level with good writing, creative story-telling, and a wonderfully wry sense of humor. I'm an MA-French Lit, in my old age indulging my curiosity about other fields - if I can understand him, anybody can. I've now read three of his books, all with pauses for laughter, and am looking forward to the next one.
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VarietyReaderIA More than 1 year ago
I wanted a read that would be different from my usual romance, sci-fi and mystery. This book gave me that and more. Thought provoking and interesting to the end.
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