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Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance


Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The potential is staggering. . . . The age of epigenetics has arrived."--Time, January 2010

Epigenetic means "on the gene," and the term refers to the recent discovery that stress in the environment can impact an individual's physiology so deeply that those biological scars are actually inherited by the next several generations. For instance, a recent study has shown that men who started smoking before puberty caused their sons to have significantly higher rates of obesity. And obesity is just the tip of the iceberg--many researchers believe that epigenetics holds the key to understanding cancer, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, autism, and diabetes.

Epigenetics is the first book for general readers on this fascinating and important topic. The book is driven by stories such as the Dutch famine of World War II, José Canseco and steroids, the breeding of mules and hinnies, Tazmanian devils and contagious cancer, and more.

Book News Annotation:

A writer with a PhD in neurobiology explains why "identical" twins can have different risks for health problems, how the effects of famine can be inherited across generations, and the dynamics of the breeding of hybrid animals. Francis presents an interesting, accessible introduction to epigenetics, a new field that studies how the environment (prenatal, social, and chemical stressors) can have long-term physiological and behavioral effects through regulating genes. He explains how this process offers promise for understanding development and obesity, and treating cancer. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Time to worry again--our lifestyle choices do impact our genetic code and that of our children (and even grandchildren!).

About the Author

Richard C. Francis is a writer who has a PhD in biology from Stanford University. He is the author of Why Men Won't Ask for Directions. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

Francis, Richard C
W. W. Norton & Company
Francis, Richard C.
Life Sciences - Genetics & Genomics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
18 illustrations
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Genetics

Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance Used Hardcover
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"Synopsis" by , Time to worry again--our lifestyle choices do impact our genetic code and that of our children (and even grandchildren!).
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