By Adam Rutherford
on account that scientists first learn the human genome in 2001, it's been topic to all kinds of claims, counterclaims, and myths. actually, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes might be learn now not as guide manuals, yet as epic poems. DNA determines some distance below we have now been ended in think approximately us as participants, yet greatly extra approximately us as a species.
during this alluring trip in the course of the increasing panorama of genetics, Adam Rutherford finds what our genes now let us know approximately historical past, and what historical past tells us approximately our genes. From Neanderthals to homicide, from redheads to race, useless kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this can be a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we're and the way we got here to be.
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Extra info for A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes
So it goes. Nothing living is fixed, and all creatures are four dimensional, existing in space, and also through time. Life is transition: the only things that are truly static are already dead. Your parents had parents, and theirs had parents, and so on, two by two, back through the whole of history, and prehistory. If you keep going back and back, your ancestors will slowly and inevitably become unrecognizable to you, via apes and monkeys, two-legged then quadrupedal, and ratty mammals and brutish beasts on land, and before them in wading sea creatures and fishy swimmers, and worms and weedy sea plants, and around two billions years ago, you don’t even need two parents, but just the binary fission of a single cell, one becomes two.
Author lists of genetics papers can now run into the dozens, hundreds and occasionally thousands. Long gone are the days when Victorian gentlemen could idle away their inheritances in hot pursuit of the fabric of nature. Many people have helped me with the writing of this book, and I have used numerous research papers, which are listed at the back. For the most part though I have not included specific references in the text, nor individual researchers, simply to add to the flow of the stories herein.
Then in the final stages it moved back by another 20,000 years with the detection of Homo sapiens DNA in a millennia-dead Neanderthal girl. These numbers are not much in evolutionary terms, ripples in geological time. But that is much more than the whole of written human history, and so the land continually and dramatically moves under our feet. The first half of this book is about the rewriting of the past using genetics, from a time when there were at least four human species on Earth right up to the kings of Europe into the eighteenth century.