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She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
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Carl Zimmer
She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer at Abbey's Bookshop,

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

Carl Zimmer


9781509818549

Macmillan


Reportage & collected journalism;
Mathematics & Sciences;
Popular science;
Genetics (non-medical);
Popular medicine & health


Paperback

672 pages

$34.99
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Shortlisted for The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2018 She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities . . .

But, Zimmer writes, 'Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are-our appearance, our height, our penchants-in inconceivably subtle ways.' Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors-using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates-but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer's lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.

Weaving together historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world's best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.

By:   Carl Zimmer
Imprint:   Macmillan
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 39mm
Weight:   752g
ISBN:   9781509818549
ISBN 10:   1509818545
Pages:   672
Publication Date:   June 2018
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Carl Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. Since 2013 he has been a columnist at the New York Times. He is a popular speaker at universities, medical schools, museums, and festivals, and he is also a frequent on radio programmes such as Radiolab and This American Life. In 2016, Zimmer won the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science. Zimmer is the author of a dozen books about science, on subjects ranging from viruses to neuroscience to evolution. Praise for Carl Zimmer: `Carl Zimmer accomplishes in a mere 100 pages what other authors struggle to do in 500: He reshapes our understanding of the hidden realities at the core of everyday existence.' Washington Post (A Planet of Viruses) `A tour-de-force ' Sunday Telegraph (Soul Made Flesh) `A book capable of changing how we see the world' Los Angeles Times (Parasite Rex)


She Has Her Mother's Laugh is a superb guide to a subject that is only becoming more important. Along the way, it explains some remarkably complicated science with equally remarkable clarity-a totally impressive job all around. -- Charles C. Mann, author of <i>New York Times</i> bestseller <i>1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus</i> She Has Her Mother's Laugh is at once far-ranging, imaginative, and totally relevant. Carl Zimmer makes the complex science of heredity read like a novel, and explains why the subject has been-and always will be-so vexed. -- Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Pulitzer Prize winner <i>The Sixth Extinction</i> No one unravels the mysteries of science as brilliantly and compellingly as Carl Zimmer, and he has proven it again with She Has Her Mother's Laugh-a sweeping, magisterial book that illuminates the very nature of who we are. -- David Grann, #1 New York Times bestselling author, award-winning staff writer at <i>The New Yorker</i>, and author of <i>The Lost City of Z</i> A thoroughly enchanting tour of big questions, oddball ideas, and dazzling accomplishments of researchers searching to explain, manipulate, and alter inheritance. * Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * A magnificent work . . . Journalist Zimmer masterfully blends exciting storytelling with first-rate science reporting. His book is as engrossing as it is enlightening. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * She Has Her Mother's Laugh is a masterpiece - a career-best work from one of the world's premier science writers, on a topic that literally touches every person on the planet. -- Ed Yong, author of <i>I Contain Multitudes</i>


  • Short-listed for Baillie Gifford Prize 2018 (UK)
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