Human Biological Variation

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Oxford University Press, 2011 - Science - 443 pages
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Authoritative yet accessible, Human Biological Variation, Second Edition, opens with an engaging introduction to basic genetics and the evolutionary forces that set the stage for understanding human diversity. It goes on to offer a clear and detailed discussion of molecular genetics, including its uses and its relationship to anthropological and evolutionary models. The text features up-to-date discussions of classic genetic markers (blood groups, enzymes, and proteins) along with extensive background on DNA analysis and coverage of satellite DNA, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and Alu inserts. It covers such current issues as the meaning and significance of "race," quantitative genetics and the "nature versus nurture" debates, biocultural interactions, population structure, and cultural and historical influences on patterns of human variation. Discussing the use of probability and statistics in studying human variation and adaptation in a lucid and approachable way, the book provides clearly explained math that is kept to the level of basic algebra.

Integrating real-world examples on interesting topics--including genetic testing, lactose intolerance, dyslexia, IQ, and homosexuality--the second edition of Human Biological Variation provides the most thorough and contemporary view of our biological diversity.

New to This Edition

* Explorations in Diversity boxes highlight in-the-news examples, including the use of parasites to study human biological variation, determining skin and hair color of Neandertals, and how biology influences mate choice
* Includes a new chapter on milk, taste, and cerumen (Chapter 8)
* Offers more extensive examples of adaptation and physiological variation
* Discusses the latest research on traditional markers (blood groups, enzymes, and proteins) and their uses in anthropological studies of diversity
* Provides updated references, web links, and suggestions for further reading

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About the author (2011)


James H. Mielke is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas.
Lyle W. Konigsberg is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
John H. Relethford is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York College at Oneonta.

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