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Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance Hardcover – 22 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (22 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393070050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393070057
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The potential is staggering... The age of epigenetics has arrived. --Time, January 2010

About the Author

Richard C. Francis is a writer who has a PhD in biology from Stanford University. He is the author of Why Men Won't Ask for Directions.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Burne on 29 Aug 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are interested in medicine and science you will probably have noticed by now that even though for 20 years or more you have been reading about genes for cancer, genes for diabetes and how the discovery of the latest one will soon lead to new cures or new ways of preventing disease, so far nothing very impressive has turned up. Epigenetics is part of the reason. It's the study of a level of switches on top of genes that can be affected by the environment and the implications are revolutionary, quite possibly terminal for the "gene for...." school of research. They put an end to the idea that all genes are hard impervious entities concerned only to pass themselves unchanged into the next generation. Instead they - or at least a proportion of them - are responsive to the world around you and can be changed by food, by exercise, by stress, by a good relationship. It's a perspective that throws up the possibility of doing gene engineering on the kitchen table. If you know a bit about the field this is a good solid introduction though it can sometimes be a little bit heavy going; someone new to the field with no biology might find it themselves getting a bit lost in places, but this is the gateway to a much more sophisticated view of genetics that still hasn't had the impact it should, quite possibly because getting patented new pharmaceutical drugs out of genes research - what has been driving this area so far - is not so easy when something like vitamin D can change the expression (essentially how strongly a gene behaves) of several hundred of them. Worth persevering with
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neal MacAi on 18 Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been away from genetics for over 40 years though I have read casually about developments. This book eased me back up to date to the point that I am ready to take on heavier tomes now. It is a bit tedious in explaining the basics of genetics for people like me, but I think an intelligent newcomer to the subject would find that a good thing and could cope. I would have preferred the notes to have been in small print at the bottom of each relevant page rather than in a separate section. I really couldn't cope with the heavy use of abbrevions throughout the text. Correctly upon the first mention, the phrase is explained and the abbreviation given, but much later in the text, it will crop up again, necessitating a break in thought as one has to search to be reminded what the abbreviation means, either in previous text or the index. After a break of some pages in the use of a term, it should be reintroduced. Nevertheless this was a useful book for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TH on 8 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an easy read, and quite interesting. It was, however, quite light on facts in comparison to Nessa Carey's "The Epigenetics Revolution". A reasonable introduction, but nowhere near as good as Carey's outstanding and readable work.
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