After a brief, clear introduction to the basic concepts of genetics, including a sharp run-through of a working vocabulary, best-selling author Matt Ridley takes on the daunting task of explaining the miraculous complexity of the human genome. He discusses each of a person’s 23 chromosomes as a chapter in the book of human characteristics. Each chromosome’s story line encompasses broad conversations about science, history, psychology, philosophy, biology, and much more. Ridley avoids jargon and writes for clarity and smooth, quick flow. He offers an understanding of what makes human beings both so much alike and yet individually unique. Genome first came out in 1999, and the ensuing years have seen great discoveries of new information, some of which Ridley touches on in the back section “A Genetic Update, Courtesy of the Author.” Surprisingly, the advances in facts and understanding do not make this book obsolete; it remains a fundamental, invaluable foundation for comprehending human genes.
About the Author
Matt Ridley, who holds a PhD in zoology from Oxford, is a former science journalist for The Economist and founding chair of the International Center for Life. His books about science and human nature include the bestsellers The Red Queen, The Rational Optimist and The Agile Gene.