Steve Jones’s highly acclaimed, double prize-winning, bestselling first book is now fully revised to cover all the new genetic breakthroughs from GM food to Dolly the sheep. ’An essential sightseer’s guide to our own genetic terrain.’ Peter Tallack, Sunday Telegraph
Did you know that two of every three people reading this book will die for reasons connected with the genes they carry? That our DNA gradually changes with age, which is why older parents are more likely to give birth to children with genetic defects than younger parents? That each individual is a kind of living fossil, carrying within a genetic record that goes back to the beginnings of humanity? In The Language of Genes, renowned geneticist Steve Jones explores the meanings and explodes the myths of human genetics, offering up an extraordinary picture of what we are, what we were, and what we may become. “An essential book for anyone interested in the development and possible future of our species.”—Kirkus Reviews “This is one of the most insightful books on genetics to date and certainly the most entertaining.”—The Wall Street Journal
Commissioned by the BBC to deliver the Reith Lectures in 1991, Steve Jones has used them as the basis for this book which argues that the evolution of our genes may be compared to the evolution of language. This book shows readers how close we are to success in the search for our origins.
A unique overview of the human language faculty at all levels of organization. Language is not only one of the most complex cognitive functions that we command, it is also the aspect of the mind that makes us uniquely human. Research suggests that the human brain exhibits a language readiness not found in the brains of other species. This volume brings together contributions from a range of fields to examine humans' language capacity from multiple perspectives, analyzing it at genetic, neurobiological, psychological, and linguistic levels. In recent decades, advances in computational modeling, neuroimaging, and genetic sequencing have made possible new approaches to the study of language, and the contributors draw on these developments. The book examines cognitive architectures, investigating the functional organization of the major language skills; learning and development trajectories, summarizing the current understanding of the steps and neurocognitive mechanisms in language processing; evolutionary and other preconditions for communication by means of natural language; computational tools for modeling language; cognitive neuroscientific methods that allow observations of the human brain in action, including fMRI, EEG/MEG, and others; the neural infrastructure of language capacity; the genome's role in building and maintaining the language-ready brain; and insights from studying such language-relevant behaviors in nonhuman animals as birdsong and primate vocalization. Section editors Christian F. Beckmann, Carel ten Cate, Simon E. Fisher, Peter Hagoort, Evan Kidd, Stephen C. Levinson, James M. McQueen, Antje S. Meyer, David Poeppel, Caroline F. Rowland, Constance Scharff, Ivan Toni, Willem Zuidema
The islands north of Australia are home to a set of remarkably diverse human populations. The authors have used a sampling strategy to reveal the complex structure of the variation of populations in this region. Their findings reveal early human migrations out of Africa and an abundance of genetic variation within Island Melanesia.--Résumé de l'éditeur.
"His groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease.” —Barack Obama From Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, 2007 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and 15-year head of the Human Genome Project, comes one of the most important medical books of the year: The Language of Life. With accessible, insightful prose, Dr. Collins describes the medical, scientific, and genetic revolution that is currently unlocking the secrets of “personalized medicine,” and offers practical advice on how to utilize these discoveries for you and your family’s current and future health and well-being. In the words of Dr. Jerome Groopman (How Doctors Think), The Language of Life “sets out hope without hype, and will enrich the mind and uplift the heart.”
This book presents an investigation of language contact, focusing on Northwestern China. It breaks down the barrier between human sciences and natural sciences in order to reconsider the diversity of languages on the basis of the latest research findings from genetics, linguistics, and other domains, offering valuable insights into when and how the divergence of languages and genes began and language and gene admixture and replacement occurred. The book focuses on language evolution between the border of Gansu and Qinghai Province in China, but the research doesn’t neglect the area beyond China’s northern borders. Manchu, a dying language belonging to the Tungusic group, is also studied to enhance our understanding of language replacement. This work is the result of a four-year collaboration between teams of geneticists and linguists in France and China.
A head of the Human Genome Project and former atheist presents a scientific argument for the existence of God, revealing how science can support faith by citing the areas of nature that can and cannot be fully explained by Darwinian evolution, and sharing a tour of the genome to demonstrate how it reflects God's purposes. 75,000 first printing.
This iconoclastic work on the prehistory of Japan and of South East Asia challenges entrenched views on the origins of Japanese society and identity. The social changes that took place in Japan in the time-period when the Jomon culture was replaced by the Yayoi culture were of exceptional magnitude, going far beyond those of the so-called Neolithic Revolution in other parts of the world. They included not only a new way of life based on wet-rice agriculture but also the introduction of metalworking in both bronze and iron, and furthermore a new architecture functionally and ritually linked to rice cultivation, a new religion, and a hierarchical society characterized by a belief in the divinity of the ruler. Because of its immense and enduring impact the Yayoi period has generally been seen as the very foundation of Japanese civilization and identity. In contrast to the common assumption that all the Yayoi innovations came from China and Korea, this work combines exciting new scientific evidence from such different fields as rice genetics, DNA and historical linguistics to show that the major elements of Yayoi civilization actually came, not from the north, but from the south.
Those of us who read a daily newspaper or scan a weekly magazine have grown accustomed to being told that the science of genetics influences countless aspects of our existence, from human development, health, and disease to the ecological balance of our planet. We accept this, and yet most of us have only the faintest idea of what a gene really is or how it functions. This book, then, is a primer on modern genetics, and its aim is to teach any interested general reader all he or she needs to know about how genes work - and about how a detailed knowledge of their workings can be applied to some of the most pressing problems of our time. Written by two world-renowned researchers in molecular biology and illustrated with uncommon clarity and precision, Dealing with Genes will satisfy the interest of general readers, including those who have little formal background in biology. It will also serve admirably as an authoritative text for students taking nonmajors courses in biology, genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology, and related disciplines.