Genome Response Essay
The book Genome by Matt Ridley tells the story of the relationship between genome and life by examining the twenty three chromosomes of the human DNA. Each chromosome literally and metaphorically becomes a chapter in the literal and metaphorical book of DNA. In this book of DNA, Ridley examines a particular aspect of the chromosomes chapter by chapter to see how it affects life and humanity’s understanding of life, humans and genetics itself. Although each chapter dives into different aspects of DNA and gathers stories as varied as the genes’ applications, Ridley connects them with important ideas about life and humanity’s understanding of life.
One main idea in Genome is the idea of human behavior influencing the gene. It adds a nuance to the idea that genes cause behavior. (Ridley 91) This is evident through Ridley’s tales of the inability to break down alcohol and lactose. There are new research which adds new understanding since Genome’s publication and more research into the genetic basis of lactose has presented a new dimension to Ridley’s book. In the book, Ridley gives possible hypothesis as to how these abilities to break down alcohol and lactose became prevalent in society. Another main idea that Ridley writes about is the idea that further knowledge of the genome can become tools that help fix modern society’s problems. In Chapter 8, Ridley writes about how a discovery of unique DNA fingerprints led to the conviction of violent rapists and killers.
In Genome, Ridley writes about the effects that a mutated gene in the genome has on the body’s ability to properly digest alcohol. When working correctly, the gene has the ability to produce alcohol dehydrogenase, an ...
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...f looking back and understanding the evolutionary history, the genome is also very good for looking forward into the future and solving problems humans will face.
Chavli, Bobby, Annette Summers, and Mary Napier. "DNA Fingerprinting Comes Of Age." Forensic Magazine. Advantage Business Media, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.
Ligocki, Isaac. "Biology 1101." Ohio State University, Columbus. Lecture.
Mapes, Diane. " 'Asian Flush ' Red Flag for Risk of Cancer - NBC News." NBC News. NBC News, 28 Dec. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.
Phelan, Jay. What Is Life?: A Guide to Biology. 3rd ed. New York: W.H. Freeman &, 2010. Print.
Ridley, Matt. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. Print.
Wade, Nicholas. "Study Detects Recent Instance of Human Evolution." The New York Times. The New York Times, 09 Dec. 2006. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.
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