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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Books In Science: How Genomics Keeps Rewriting Human History | Forbes

Photo: John Farrell
"Adam Rutherford's A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived paints in broad strokes, but provides a good survey of the science of genomics and how it's changing the story of human evolution" says John Farrell , Forbes contributor.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived:  
The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

And it's happening at an ever accelerating rate, given the advances in the technology of genetic sequencing.

Scientists can now employ sequencers smaller than a deck of cards, according to Rutherford, "that will plug directly into your laptop via USB port, so they can be taken out into the field to sequence the genomes of animals and plants in the wild."

All these technologies are fueling the revolution in genetics for everyone (and every thing) alive.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is divided into two parts: four chapters on how humans emerged as the lone survivors of what once were a seemingly cosmopolitan mix of many lineages. And Rutherford examines the descendants of the human migrations out of Africa into Europe, into Asia, and most recently in the last 13,000 years into the Americas.

The second part of the book deals with how genomics is changing our (mostly mistaken) views about race, eugenics and determinism. (And for that matter how genomics is giving philosophers of science more headaches in their seemingly endless debates about how best to define the concept of species.)
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Source: Forbes


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