The Epigenetics Revolution

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-03-06
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
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Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
An Ugly Toad and an Elegant Manp. 11
How We Learned to Roll Uphillp. 23
Life As We Knew Itp. 42
Life As We Know It Nowp. 54
Why Aren't Identical Twins Actually Identical?p. 75
The Sins of the Fathersp. 97
The Generations Gamep. 115
The Battle of the Sexesp. 129
Generation Xp. 152
The Message is Not the Mediump. 178
Fighting the Enemy Withinp. 205
All in the Mindp. 233
The Downhill Slopep. 262
Long Live the Queenp. 282
The Green Revolutionp. 293
The Ways Aheadp. 304
Notesp. 313
Glossaryp. 325
Indexp. 329
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