ISBN-10: 0674064461

ISBN-13: 9780674064461

Author noted: Sheldon Krimsky (Editor), Jeremy Gruber (Editor), others (contributors)

Can genes verify which fifty-year-old will succumb to Alzheimer s, which citizen will prove on vote casting day, and which baby may be marked for a lifetime of crime? definite, in accordance with the web, a couple of clinical reports, and a few within the biotechnology who may still comprehend higher. Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber assemble a group of genetic specialists to argue that treating genes because the holy grail of our actual being is a patently unscientific recreation. Genetic Explanations urges us to switch our religion in genetic determinism with medical wisdom approximately how DNA truly contributes to human development.

The proposal of the gene has been gradually revised due to the fact Watson and Crick chanced on the constitution of the DNA molecule in 1953. now not considered via scientists because the phone s fastened set of grasp molecules, genes and DNA are obvious as a dynamic script that's ad-libbed at every one degree of improvement. instead of an self reliant predictor of disorder, the DNA we inherit interacts constantly with the surroundings and features otherwise as we age. What our mom and dad hand right down to us is simply the start. Emphasizing quite new understandings of genetic plasticity and epigenetic inheritance, the authors placed right into a large developmental context the position genes are recognized to play in affliction, habit, evolution, and cognition.

Rather than pushing aside genetic reductionism out of hand, Krimsky and Gruber ask why it persists regardless of opposing medical proof, the way it impacts attitudes approximately human habit, and the way it figures within the politics of analysis funding."

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Additional info for Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense

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During the first half of the twentieth century, biologists became increasingly interested in exploring the molecular constitution of cells and the ways in which molecules participate in the metabolism and growth of organisms. They came up with molecular explanations of human diseases known to have hereditary components, such as sickle-cell disease and phenylketonuria, and identified the specific molecules associated with such conditions. Chemists and biochemists described various biologically important substances, including vitamins and hormones, and characterized their biological functions in chemical terms.

Such a quest takes us beyond the analysis of phenotypic differences induced by mutant forms. Indeed, it requires an altogether different and, almost always, far more difficult kind of analysis. There are, however, examples that have proved to be relatively simple. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is one, and it is probably the most celebrated case of therapeutic intervention in the history of medical genetics. Indeed, it is everyone’s canonical example, mine as well. Phenylketonuria is a disorder (now recognized as genetic) associated with a range of disabling symptoms, including mental retardation, and caused by the inability of the body to properly metabolize the essential amino acid phenylalanine.

They did not even know there was a race. Only Watson and Crick were racing. As for Pauling, he and his colleagues had recently elucidated the structure of the α-helix, a basic structural component of many of the proteins of biological importance. That was an enormous achievement for which Pauling was shortly awarded a Nobel Prize. Before turning to the structure of DNA, Pauling’s group had already determined the three-dimensional structure of the bases that compose DNA. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that had Pauling been the first to describe the full structure of DNA, it would have been exciting, but it would have been just another of his many major accomplishments.

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Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense

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