Genome Review Essay

Submitted By emiorr354793
Words: 820
Pages: 4

The human genome is the collective recipe for the building and running of the human body. The genome is our 100,000 or so genes. These 100,000 genes are sited across 23 pairs of chromosomes. Genome: the autobiography of twenty three chromosomes by Matt Ridley is a book of about 100,000 words; divided into 23 chapters. There is a chapter for every chromosome. Whilst reading Genome, the reader explores the functions and purposes of their genes- genes that can help us or hurts us, genes that can influence or intelligence and so on. Ridley discusses the basis of all life on earth, the evolution of our species, and the principles of genetic inheritance. He talks about genes that carry traces of past human migrations, and the correlation between genetics and linguistics. He explores the genes that contribute to the interplay of nature and nurture effects on IQ and the role of genes in humans’ ability to comprehend language and communicate with one another. There is a chapter about how genetic variability is a response to exposure to infectious diseases in our evolutionary past. He talks about genes that can condemn us to cruel diseases, like Huntington’s disease. There is an ambiguous chapter titled he chapter titled 'Death' which is exploring the causes of cancer. genes that guide the development of our bodies and our brains, genes that allow us to remember, 'selfish' genes, self-replicators which are scrounging on the genome itself, whose remnants are found in our 'junk' DNA. Ridley covers every topic- from genes that impact sexuality and personality. This book chronicles the opening of the Genome mystery and the path science has taken to reach today's level of knowledge. It also includes a far reaching discussion of the current discoveries of DNA. Every turn of the page can reveal a new understanding about who we are and how our exploding genetic knowledge might shape our future.
In chapter three of Genome, Ridley discusses the finding of a scientist named Archibald Garrod. Garrod was a medical researcher that focused on a disease called Alkaptonuria. Alkaptonuria turns an individual’s urine and earwax a sickly black color, but was only present in the first cousins of some families. This disease leads him to think about the passing of genetic traits. He discovered that the disease was found in the lineage of families and could even reappear after a generation that did not have the illness. Garrod established the fact that every protein in the human body is made from a gene, and genes are inherited from parents. The origin of Garrod’s experiments is actually based off of Gregor Mendel’s research. Gregor Mendel is named the father of the modern science of genetics. Mendel's pea plant experiments established many of the rules of heredity. His experiments focused on the outward effects of the genetic programming (the phenotype). He essentially discovered that there are dominant and recessive genes in the human genome; meaning that traits do not disappear. An in depth study of mutations conducted by Hermann Joe Muller and others proved, “mutations were altered proteins made by altered genes.” James Watson and Francis Crick discovered DNA, the building block of genes. They are credited for…