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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genes aren't destiny
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...
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by Jerome Burne

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better
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.
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. T. A. Hills


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genes aren't destiny, 29 Aug 2011
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Jerome Burne (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Epigenetics by Richard C Francis, 18 Nov 2011
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Neal MacAi (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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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
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better, 8 April 2013
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Mrs. T. A. Hills (Chichester, West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blame your Granny, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes (Paperback)
This isn't a textbook on epigenetics. It's an elementary,light introduction that raises the subject to the level of consciousness. It does this admirably by the use of concrete examples. There is an excellent bibliography and citation section coherent with the content that will allow those who wish to pursue the matter in greater depth to go further. Nevertheless, it does contain some technical terminology and protocols that assume the reader will be familiar with - although lack of such knowledge will not substantially detract from the purpose of the book. It's effectively a preliminary book that introduces epigenetics and can be read over a few days that is useful in presenting the topic for those who may have come across it in the popular press.

What your Granny did and what she was exposed to in her life might very well be determining how your genotype suppression and activation leads to that phenotype you despise when you look in the bathroom mirror of a morning......... no matter how hard you attempt to alter it!
This little tome is certainly worth the read. It achieves what it sets out to do on the cover sub-title by explaining: How environment shapes our genes - but does so in a surprising and interesting fashion.

Currently epigenetics is below the main public radar. That's going to change. This book, in its own small way, will assist that process.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 19 May 2013
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This book opened up so much. I was interested in epigenetics and wanted to know more and this book did it well. The sign of a good science book is that it leaves you asking even more questions and this book certainly did that. Nearly half the book is notes and references. I should check them out but I felt confident that the author knew the science and that I had no need to. The author has a compelling style. You could not put the book down. He is the master of clarity and I rarely had to reread any section.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Epigenetics made simple, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes (Paperback)
A throughly entertaining and highly informative book. The author related historical and/or major human experiences to help understand the effect of epigenetics on how the cell adopts to the new enviroment it is exposed via what we ingest or as consequence of of changes in our behaviour or our immediate surroundings. Its an excellent book irrespective of weather you are scientist or a non-scientist.
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Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes
Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes by Richard C. Francis (Paperback - 15 Jun 2012)
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