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4.0 out of 5 stars diffuse but always interesting, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Inheritance (Hardcover)
The different chapters of this book cover a diversity of issues arising from Moalem's work as a doctor specialising in genetic issues.

He explains first how a geneticist thinks (showing what you can learn from the superficial DIY examination of your own physical characteristics), that genes can have very different forms of expression (featuring a sperm donor whose genetic legacy was not as good as it looked from the superficial examination of the donor himself), then explains that genes can be altered (our lives are not fixed - bullying or being near the twin towers can lead to permanent depression in cortisol for example; and if you are a bee, royal jelly will turn you into a queen), then turns to the skeleton and the fact that our bones are continually being made and remade (and some unfortunate people with rare genetic disorders can turn effectively to stone).

Later chapters explain to us that what we have living in our gut may have a critical impact on our weight, that individual responses to medicines matter in a way that averages might not suggest (one girl dies from an overdose of codeine which for her was a single table to the drug because of being extra sensitive to it); that genes can determine quite a lot about what (organs) end up on what side of the body; that sherpas and some athletes have very happy genetic endowments (in the case of sherpas maybe an example of very quick genetic adaptation), and looks at the implications of knowing about your genome and the potential genomes of your children before birth. Finally, the study of the genetically unusual can lead to medicines for us all - and to some very surprising results (a male child with two X chromosomes features though the notes say this example is based on an amalgam of published cases).

I learned a lot from this book that I did not know about inheritance - and hope not to forget the anecdotes, starting with Jeff the Chef who found that turning to a healthy diet was extremely bad for his health, as he turned out to have a bad reaction to fructose…I doubt also I will forget learning that Bill Clinton is now a vegan.

Overall I would strongly recommend this book. It's continuously interesting, It's also, however, as I hope my summary of the contents suggests, a bit diffuse and does not have a single focus. Perhaps it is none the worse for that...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Inheritance (Hardcover)
Very well written with illustrative cases providing clear examples.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read, 1 Aug 2014
This review is from: Inheritance (Hardcover)
A fascinating and inspiring book for those of us trying to eat well and age well. Read our take on Inheritance here:[...]
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Inheritance
Inheritance by Dr Sharon Moalem (Hardcover - 10 April 2014)
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