Jacob's Ladder: The History of the Human Genome

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 17, 2004 - Science - 288 pages

What makes us as humans all alike and yet as individuals so different?

Jacob's Ladder delivers a remarkably lucid explanation of what the sequencing of the human genome really tells us. Decoding the sequence, evolutionary biologist Henry Gee shows, is just the beginning: seeing the letters and words. The next frontier is in understanding snatches of conversation between genes—how they interact to direct the growth of an organism. Gee takes us into the heart of that conversation, illuminating how genes govern a single egg cell's miraculous transformation into a human being, and how they continue to direct that person's day-by-day development throughout a lifetime.

Gee tells the story of what we know about the genome today and what we are likely to discover tomorrow. As our knowledge advances, we will be able to direct with increasing authority the conversations between genes: not only performing medical interventions but also creating whole scripts directing birth, ancestry, and diversity in a brave new world.

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JACOB'S LADDER: The History of the Human Genome

User Review  - Kirkus

A detailed history, not so much of the genome as of genetics itself.Nature science writer Gee begins with a description of how a fertilized human egg develops into a person. As everyone has observed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

This book was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was getting a description of the state of the art of genome science in 2004. What I actually got was a history of how we reached this state of the art in ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Henry Gee, former Regents Professor at UCLA, is a science writer for Nature. He lives in London.

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