2. Why I chose this book- To be quite honest, I had a few books that have been suggested by classmates that I plan on reading over the summer. I ordered them all on Amazon, and this was the first one to arrive.
3. Synopsis of the book- Chapter one focused on hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder where iron builds up in your body. Though hemochromatosis can be fatal, they think there could be some benefits to it, and that there is a reason why it has been passed on for so many generations. Bacteria feed on iron. When a macrophage (part of the immune system) takes bacteria in the blood and sends it to the lymph nodes to be processed by the immune system. There the bacteria feeds on the iron in the macrophages and multiplies. In a person with hemochromatosis, their macrophages are iron deficient. So when people with hemochromatosis macrophages take the bacteria to the lymph nodes the body is able to fight the bacteria. This came into play during the bubonic plague era. People who contracted the plague had lymph nodes so swollen that they would sometimes burst through the skin. Those with hemochromatosis were better suited to fight off the plague and they would live long enough to reproduce, unlike those without hemochromatosis, and this would pass the hemochromatosis gene on. The gene was thought to come from northern Europe, Vikings to be specific. In the Viking culture blood shed was common in battle so the excess iron was let out which caused the Vikings with hemochromatosis to live just as long as people without, and they were also able to pass on those genes.
Chapter 2 focused on diabetes. Dr.Moalem discussed the idea that excess sugar in the b...
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...r future selves.
6. Questions this book led you to ponder:
• How did our bodies know to adapt in the first place?
• Diabetes was useful during the tail end of the ice age, but now when we don’t need that extra warmth and we even go out of our way to prevent diabetes why is it still so prevalent? Wouldn’t our bodies start to evolve to not have it?
• Is there any way we could use “jumping genes” to our advantage? If so why aren’t we doing that? Or is that too GATTACA?
7. Why you would recommend this book? I would recommend this book for so many different reasons. This is just one of those you –need –to –read –this –book –just –because -you’re –a –human -being kind of book. This book would be good for anybody, especially people interested in biology or genetics/ diseases. It is very easy to understand, you don’t need a degree in biology to comprehend or enjoy this book.
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