Herding Hemingway's Cats

  • by Kat Arney
  • Narrated by Kat Arney
  • 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly, or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of dollars to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.
So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work? According to legend, Ernest Hemingway was once given a six-toed cat by an old sea captain, and her distinctive descendants still roam the writer's Florida estate today. Scientists now know that the fault driving this profusion of digits lies in a tiny genetic control switch, miles away (in molecular terms) from the gene that "makes" toes. And it's the same mistake that gives rise to multi-toed humans too. There are 2.2 meters of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the "recipes" that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with myriad control switches ensuring they're turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. And figuring out how it all works - how your genes make you, you - is a major challenge for researchers around the world. Drawing on stories ranging from six-toed cats and stickleback hips to wobbly worms and zombie genes, geneticist Kat Arney explores the how our genes work, creating a companion to the book of life itself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent in depth look at genetics

Great book, excellently narrated. Goes into genetics in quite a bit of detail - so not for a reader who knows nothing about biology - but pays off nicely for those with a little bit of knowledge in genetics.
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- Lewis

Excellent book which makes understanding genes easy

This is a great read, the author takes you on her journey of discovery in understanding genes. It's easy to follow and the examples given are easy also easy to understand and imagine.
I highly recommend this book
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- L. J. Carey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-01-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury