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The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance

The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance

by Nessa Carey


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Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics.

Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231161176
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 315,979
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nessa Carey is a visiting professor at Imperial College in London and currently works in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, where she has specialized in epigenetics for nearly a decade. She has strong relationships with leading epigenetics researchers, medical labs in Europe, and with some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, including the Harvard Medical School, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Wistar Institute.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 An Ugly Toad and an Elegant Man 11

Chapter 2 How We Learned to Roll Uphill 23

Chapter 3 Life As We Knew It 42

Chapter 4 Life As We Know It Now 54

Chapter 5 Why Aren't Identical Twins Actually Identical? 75

Chapter 6 The Sins of the Fathers 97

Chapter 7 The Generations Game 115

Chapter 8 The Battle of the Sexes 129

Chapter 9 Generation X 152

Chapter 10 The Message is Not the Medium 178

Chapter 11 Fighting the Enemy Within 205

Chapter 12 All in the Mind 233

Chapter 13 The Downhill Slope 262

Chapter 14 Long Live the Queen 282

Chapter 15 The Green Revolution 293

Chapter 16 The Ways Ahead 304

Notes 313

Glossary 325

Index 329

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