Jjsshaffer, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Jjsshaffer)
A friend (now deceased) gave me this book and I found it extremely helpful in understanding something more about the history of humankind. Genetic information is going to reveal a lot about our human origins and the spread of people around the globe.
nellie b, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by nellie b)
What an amazing journey Bryan Sykes has taken us on with this, his first book, The Seven Daughters of Eve. His literary abilities to communicate to us laymen, along with his passion and persistance of scientific research, and his apparent 'insatiable curiosity' to find answers for our genetic ancestry, have opened up a whole new DNA world for me. My husband and I both immensely enjoy this book!
Patricia R., January 14, 2010 (view all comments by Patricia R.)
It's ironic that this proof of sisterhood comes from a male author whose book concludes with a vision of "all my foremothers" filling a large auditorium. He shows how every person of European descent living anywhere in the world has one of seven women as their ultimate ancestress in the maternal line. One of these women is also the ultimate mother of 10% of Native Americans, & he creates an imaginative hypothesis of how this might have come about. This book combines science & creative use of anthropological data to construct a plausible "biography" of each of the seven women. He also discusses MDNA research into origins of people in Japan, Australia, and other parts of the world. At the time the book was published, 21 "foremothers" had been discovered, all of them descendants of "the African Eve." Sykes has set up a scientific foundation that will analyze MDNA from a cheek-swab to tell you which "daughter of Eve" you are descended from. The result may surprise you!
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J T, February 24, 2007 (view all comments by J T)
Accompanying my intensive research into mDNA & matrilinealism in Austronesian societies, I read this book hoping to get a better overall picture of how maternal clan lines are traced. My highest hopes were surpassed. Sykes not only pioneered the field, he is an excellent writer, & he reveals his enthusiasms well. There's not a dry moment in the book. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed learning about the quite recent history of DNA analysis in archaeology. Like others, I wasn't too awed by the Eurocentrist aspect, but I sense that if Sykes had the time/space, he could have delved even deeper into the genetic history of all the continents. Fascinating & compelling!!
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Cecile, October 22, 2006 (view all comments by Cecile)
This very informative book by Bryan Sykes was easy to read, even with several sections detailing the intricacies of genetics, biological anthropology, etc. Sykes, professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, shows how good scientists, probably especially those working in genetics, glean information from a wide variety of other fields so as to help them come up with possible answers to the questions they are asking. And then there's the infighting, competition, back-stabbing and so on commonly associated with politics but very much alive in the world of science.
I was fascinated with the inventiveness and creativity of Sykes and his team of researchers in devising gizmos to, for example, drill into the tooth of a very, very old skeleton. I won't say how old.
Read the book and be prepared to laugh out loud, as I did, when you get to "Cheddar Man speaks." Sykes treats the foibles of the living with as much care and compassion as he handles the bones of the thousand plus year old dead. My only caveat is that he focuses on Europe for most of the book and rushes a bit at the end to cover the rest of the world so as to be truly writing about "our" genetic ancestry. You'll also see the possibility of a good basis for a theory as to why Western Europeans and their descendants in the U.S. have been notorious colonizers and wagers of war.
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The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
W. W. Norton & Company -
The national bestseller that reveals how we are descended from seven prehistoric women.
by Hold All,
The Seven Daughters of Eveis a thrilling work of science that reveals how biological research can enrich our tangled lives. It is a book that chronicles many of the most exciting developments in genetics over the past decade by a man who is not only a brilliant scientist but also a gifted and thoroughly engaging writer. It ultimately demonstrates how much more we still have to discover about the absorbing story of human evolution.
In 1994 Bryan Sykes was called in as an expert to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy for over 5000 years--the Ice Man. Sykes succeeded in extracting DNA from the Ice Man, but even more important, writes ?, was his "ability to directly link that DNA to Europeans living today." In this groundbreaking book, Sykes reveals how the identification of a particular strand of DNA that passes unbroken through the maternal line allows scientists to trace our genetic makeup all the way back to prehistoric times--to seven primeval women, the "seven daughters of Eve."
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