The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2006 - Science - 301 pages
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DNA is the genetic material that defines us as individuals. Over the last two decades, it has emerged as a powerful tool for solving crimes and determining guilt and innocence. But, very recently, an important new aspect of DNA has been revealed—it contains a detailed record of evolution. That is, DNA is a living chronicle of how the marvelous creatures that inhabit our planet have adapted to its many environments, from the freezing waters of the Antarctic to the lush canopy of the rain forest.

In the pages of this highly readable narrative, Sean Carroll guides the general reader on a tour of the massive DNA record of three billion years of evolution to see how the fittest are made. And what a eye-opening tour it is—one featuring immortal genes, fossil genes, and genes that bear the scars of past battles with horrible diseases. This book clinches the case for evolution, beyond any reasonable doubt.
 

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The making of the fittest: DNA and the ultimate forensic record of evolution

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Leading geneticist Carroll (genetics, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison;Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo-Devo ), an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, presents new ... Read full review

Review: The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

User Review  - Schwedock - Goodreads

This is an excellent overview of evolution, and the traces our evolutionary history has left in our DNA. It also has concise and simple explanations of probabilities that show that seemingly highly unlikely events are actually quite common over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Read full review

Contents

Introduction The Bloodless Fish of Bouvet Island
19
The Everyday Math of Evolution Chance Selection and Time
41
Immortal Genes Running in Place for Eons
69
Making the New from the Old
91
Fossil Genes Broken Pieces of Yesterdays Life
117
Deja Vu How and Why Evolution Repeats Itself
139
Our Flesh and Blood Arms Races the Human Race and Natural Selection
165
The Making and Evolution of Complexity
189
Seeing and Believing
215
The Palm Trees of Wyoming
249
Sources and Further Reading
269
Acknowledgments
285
Index
287
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About the author (2006)

Sean B. Carroll is professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His first book, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, was a finalist for the 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Carroll's seminal scientific work has been featured in Time and The New Yorker. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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