The Themes Of DNA And Ridley's Genome By Matt Ridley

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Nun CungBik Ligocki Biology 1101 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…show more content…
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 enzyme that aids in the breakdown of alcohol. When mutated, the production of this enzyme stops. This results in improper digestion of alcohol. Alcohol as it is explained in lecture is the product of anaerobic fermentation in which sugars are transformed into ethanol and carbon dioxide gas. (Ligocki) In Genome, Ridley brings up pressures that could have necessitated the need for the ability to digest alcohol. Ridley says that most of the world can digest alcohol because they have the gene that allows alcohol dehydrogenase to be produced. This is due to most of the world having been involved in urbanization or at least settling down on a location. With many settling down and agriculture abundant…show more content…
One of society’s problems is that the wrong people are convicted of a crime they did not commit. None have more dire consequences on those than who are wrongly convicted of rape and murder. The punishment for these crimes are as harsh as possible to deter the crimes and when wrongly convicted, the wrong person gets punished while the true perpetrator gets away. In order to increase the chance of convicting the true perpetrator of the crime, the tools to find and convict criminals had to be refined. And it was refined due to extensive research into DNA. This research was done by Alec Jeffreys and Vicky Wilson, the research’s technician, and it found that in the massive amount of junk codes, there exists many repetitious codes that have copied so many times that it varies from person to person. (Ridley 132) This means that people can be identified with only their DNA from their hair, fluids, skin, etc. This discovery has led to convictions of rapists and murderers such as the Pickford case that Ridley wrote about. It has also led to the sentences of many wrongly convicted people to be retracted and this had led to the release of about 200 people known as the DNA 200. (Phelan) Now, most of the world keeps criminals’ genotype information in order to identify repeat offenders. In the United States, every state requires that every convicted

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