A Brief His­tory of Ev­ery­one Who Ever Lived

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN MEAGHER

Adam Rutherford

W&N, 432 pages, €21

Since sci­en­tists first read the hu­man genome in 2001, it has been sub­ject to all sorts of claims, coun­ter­claims and myths. It’s also some­thing of a mys­tery for most lay peo­ple. Here, English ge­neti­cist Adam Rutherford at­tempts to make these build­ing blocks of life ac­ces­si­ble for a gen­eral read­er­ship.

Subti­tled The Sto­ries in Our Genes, we are taken on a jour­ney through the ex­pand­ing land­scape of ge­net­ics. The book doc­u­ments what our genes now tell us about his­tory, and what his­tory tells us about our genes.

From Ne­an­derthals to mur­der, from red­heads to race, dead kings to the plague, evo­lu­tion to the evolv­ing science of epi­ge­net­ics, Rutherford prom­ises an il­lu­mi­nat­ing por­trait of who we are and how we came to be.

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