Download The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, by Sam Kean PDF

By Sam Kean

From New York instances bestselling writer Sam Kean comes extra outstanding tales of technological know-how, background, language, and tune, as informed by way of our personal DNA.

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling writer Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic desk. within the VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the paranormal construction block of lifestyles: DNA.

There are genes to provide an explanation for loopy cat women, why people haven't any fingerprints, and why a few humans live to tell the tale nuclear bombs. Genes light up every thing from JFK's bronze dermis (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They turn out that Neanderthals and people bred hundreds of thousands of years extra lately than any people could think cozy considering. they could even enable a few humans, a result of remarkable flexibility in their thumbs and hands, to turn into actually singular violinists.

Kean's shiny storytelling once more makes technological know-how pleasing, explaining human heritage and whimsy whereas displaying how DNA will impact our species' future.

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Extra info for The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

Example text

17. cfm (accessed March 2005). 18. , Draft World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on bioethics. Nature; World Conference on Science, http://www. int/ genomics/publications/en/; and Report of WHO on Proposed International Guidelines on Ethical Issues in Medical Genetics and Genetic Services. S. html (accessed March 2005); Human Gene Organization Ethics Committee, ‘‘HUGO Statement on Benefit Sharing, April 9, 2000,’’ Clinical Genetics 58, no. html (accessed March 2005); HUGO Ethics Committee, ‘‘HUGO Urges Genetic BenefitSharing,’’ Community Genetics 3, no.

The incidence of CF in the United States is roughly 1 in 30,000, and the mutation is found on the CFTR gene. In 1997, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel recommended testing for anyone with a family history of CF, persons with a partner with CF, couples planning a pregnancy, or anyone interested in prenatal testing. As our knowledge of how gene variants and their functionality grow, gene tests are likely to become even more informative, in which case they improve the diagnoses and management of many diseases.

For example, an individual with recurrent and untreatable cardiac arrhythmia that leads to loss of consciousness, owing to an inherited ion-channel defect, would be ineligible to work as a longdistance truck driver. An individual at risk for chronic beryllium disease, given sufficient exposure, may be ‘‘protected’’ out of jobs that increase his or her exposure and risk of developing disease. , the public from dangerous driving or an individual from increased of serious disease). Balancing competing interests is complicated not only by the potential for greater good (say, a brilliant chemist with inherited susceptibility for chronic beryllium disease, who if permitted to work in his risky, but preferred, occupation might make a discovery of enormous benefit to society), but also by the uncertainty about the likelihood of various outcomes associated with a test result.

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