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Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by [Pääbo, Svante]
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Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Review

Paabo passionately chronicles his personal story, from graduate school through the culmination of the Neanderthal project 30 years later, and the scientific implications of this exciting research.... In accessible prose, Paabo presents the science so that laypersons will understand the nature and import of his work. But it's his discussion of the scientific process that steals the show.... He discusses what it took to build a case tight enough to convince even the most skeptical of colleagues and he goes on to demonstrate that scientific knowledge is cumulative and ever-evolving. --Booklist

It is a rare thing to read about an important development in science by its principal innovator, written in the spirit and style in which the research unfolded. "Neanderthal Man" is a dispatch from the front, and if you want to learn how real science is really done, I suggest you read it." --Publishers Weekly starred review

[A] revealing glimpse into the inner workings of scientific research.... Since Neanderthals are our closest evolutionary relatives, the author's work in decoding Neanderthal DNA gives scientists a way to understand how we differ genetically from them and offers the opportunity to learn what genetic changes have made humans unique on this planet. --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Svante Paabo is the founder of the field of ancient DNA. The director of the department of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Paabo has been featured in the "New York Times," "Newsweek," "National Geographic," and "The Economist," as well as on NPR, PBS, and BBC. In 2009 "Time" named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Paabo lives in Leipzig, Germany.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3537 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (11 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F226E74
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #271,885 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book a fascinating, if demanding read. This is not my field but I managed to follow most of it. It tells the story of Paabo's experiences researching genetics and, in particular, extracting ancient genomes. I have run many projects in computer science and recognised some of the 'project people problems' he encountered. The book tells many stories of his life at the top of the research ladder and many 'genetic pennies' dropped on the way. In particular the battle with contamination of ancient DNA by the modern DNA of the people who have handled the bones in the past. He clearly has a phenomenal memory which supplies the details of the quest to find Neanderthal DNA, right down to what he ate at certain meetings. This makes a nice contrast to dry textbooks. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best accounts of research that I have ever read. Not only does it describe the results of Pääbo's groundbreaking research, it also explains the fundamentals of the scientific method, not in philosphical theoretical terms, but in how a real scientist works. The anxiety and joys of the scientific endeavour are made clear. I recommend this to anyone interested in science, not only to those interested in the particular subject of the history and evolution of man.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For an ordinary reader this wasn't always an easy read, but I followed it pretty well and am glad I made the effort - the whole dabate on whether or not EarlyHumans and Neandethals interbred has interested me for years, but till now the arguments have been just from the fossil research. It's always interesting when a puzzle finds a resolution. But honestly, Svante Paabo - this is not an appropriate place for details of your own sexual history! Somebody should have had a quiet talk with you before publishing. It isn't your reproductive behaviour that the public is interested in, believe it or not.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't want to repeat others (favourable!) reviews with which I agree wholeheartedly. But I was impressed with the thorough and detailed way with which the development and progress over the years was presented, and the excellent scientific background to his work. I found the personal aspects usually relevant in highlighting how dedicated the author is to his research. The description of all the setbacks and difficulties, and their resolution, added greatly to the impact of the 'story'.

It's also gives a very useful and interesting insight into project and person management and control, at a very practical level, without being boring (at least to me).

The over-riding impression I came away with was how good this book is in showing how false is the question sometimes raised by doubters "how can scientists possibly know/prove that from such scant evidence (like a tiny piece of bone)?" Unfortunately such people would soon get bored with the great detail needed to show how reasonable the conclusions are, so would never be 'converted'. Practical, down to earth, science at its best in my opinion.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the subject interesting as also was learning the background work behind great scientific research. The author's style is unusual for a science book as he leaves each chapter with a problem so you want to read on to see how it was solved. He also throws in some nice character details about himself and his collaborators.

Some of the biology was too difficult for me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exceptional. Biography of one of archaeological and evolutionary sciences biggest movers, with an extensive review of his work. I had the pleasure of meeting Svante after a lecture given at Oxford last year, and his humble approach to his own work was mirrored perfectly in this volume. Would recommend to anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A real insight into the world of research, honestly showing the trials and tribulations of this very competitive world and for the lucky few the joys of achievement.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very thorough, need a little background on genetics. Perhaps a little too "auto biographic" at times.
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