Author: Eugene E. Harris
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015
In 2001, scientists were finally able to determine the full human genome sequence, and with the discovery began a genomic voyage back in time. Since then, we have sequenced the full genomes of a number of mankind's primate relatives at a remarkable rate. The genomes of the common chimpanzee (2005) and bonobo (2012), orangutan (2011), gorilla (2012), and macaque monkey (2007) have already been identified, and the determination of other primate genomes is well underway. Researchers are beginning to unravel our full genomic history, comparing it with closely related species to answer age-old questions about how and when we evolved. For the first time, we are finding our own ancestors in our genome and are thereby gleaning new information about our evolutionary past. In Ancestors in Our Genome, molecular anthropologist Eugene E. Harris presents us with a complete and up-to-date account of the evolution of the human genome and our species. Written from the perspective of population genetics, and in simple terms, the book traces human origins back to their source among our earliest human ancestors, and explains many of the most intriguing questions that genome scientists are currently working to answer. For example, what does the high level of discordance among the gene trees of humans and the African great apes tell us about our respective separations from our common ancestor? Was our separation from the apes fast or slow, and when and why did it occur? Where, when, and how did our modern species evolve? How do we search across genomes to find the genomic underpinnings of our large and complex brains and language abilities? How can we find the genomic bases for life at high altitudes, for lactose tolerance, resistance to disease, and for our different skin pigmentations? How and when did we interbreed with Neandertals and the recently discovered ancient Denisovans of Asia? Harris draws upon extensive experience researching primate evolution in order to deliver a lively and thorough history of human evolution. Ancestors in Our Genome is the most complete discussion of our current understanding of the human genome available.
Author: Svante Pääbo
Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag
Release Date: 2014-03-06
Genre: Social Science
Die aufregende Geschichte der Entschlüsselung des Neandertalergenoms – und das lebendige Porträt der neuen Wissenschaft der Paläogenetik In einer folgenreichen Nacht im Jahre 1996 gelang Svante Pääbo die Entschlüsselung der ersten DNA-Sequenzen eines Neandertalers. Eine Sensation! Die verblüffenden Erkenntnisse revolutionierten unser Bild von der Entwicklung des Homo sapiens. Jetzt erzählt der preisgekrönte Wissenschaftler seine persönliche Geschichte und verschränkt sie mit der Geschichte des neuen Gebiets, das er maßgeblich mitentwickelte: der Paläogenetik - von den ersten Analysen an altägyptischen Mumien bis hin zu Mammuts, Höhlenbären und Riesenfaultieren. Ein faszinierender Blick hinter die Kulissen der Spitzenforschung in Deutschland und der spannende Entwicklungsroman einer Wissenschaft, deren Ergebnisse vor wenigen Jahrzehnten noch niemand erahnen konnte
Author: John Parrington
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-08-24
Genre: Human genome
Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought -- just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated 'junk'? Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.
Author: John Parrington
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-08-25
Since the birth of civilisation, human beings have manipulated other life-forms. We have selectively bred plants and animals for thousands of years to maximize agricultural production and cater to our tastes in pets. The observation of the creation of artificial animal and plant variants was a key stimulant for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The ability to directly engineer the genomes of organisms first became possible in the 1970s, when the gene for human insulin was introduced into bacteria to produce this protein for diabetics. At the same time, mice were modified to produce human growth hormone, and grew huge as a result. But these were only our first tottering steps into the possibilities of genetic engineering. In the past few years, the pace of progress has accelerated enormously. We can now cut and paste genes using molecular scissors with astonishing ease, and the new technology of genome editing can be applied to practically any species of plants or animals. 'Mutation chain reaction' can be used to alter the genes of a population of pests, such as flies; as the modified creatures breed, the mutation is spread through the population, so that within a few generations the organism is almost completely altered. At the same time, scientists are also beginning to synthesize new organisms from scratch. These new technologies hold much promise for improving lives. Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients, by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing could be used to engineer species with increased food output, and the ability to thrive in challenging climates. New bacterial forms may be used to generate energy. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas and potential dangers, pressing issues that are already upon us given the speed of scientific developments. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring - and would designer babies be limited to the rich? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic lifeforms into complex ecosystems? John Parrington explains the nature and possibilities of these new scientific developments, which could usher in a brave, new world. We must rapidly come to understand its implications if we are to direct its huge potential to the good of humanity and the planet.
Author: Nicholas Wade
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
Release Date: 2011-06-06
When did language emerge? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals? How did human nature change in the 35,000 years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? In the last three years a flood of new scientific findings driven by revelations discovered in the human genome has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our ancient ancestors. Nicholas Wade takes readers to the forefront of research in a sweeping and engrossing narrative, the first to reveal how genetic discoveries are helping to weave together the perspectives of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology, linguistics, and many other fields. Before the Dawn marks a major advance in our understanding of human nature and origins.
Author: Bernard Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2005-11-03
This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.
Author: John H. Langdon
Release Date: 2016-10-25
This textbook provides a collection of case studies in paleoanthropology demonstrating the method and limitations of science. These cases introduce the reader to various problems and illustrate how they have been addressed historically. The various topics selected represent important corrections in the field, some critical breakthroughs, models of good reasoning and experimental design, and important ideas emerging from normal science.
Author: Jeffrey H. Schwartz
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2018-02-02
Contributors from a range of disciplines consider the disconnect between human evolutionary studies and the rest of evolutionary biology. The study of human evolution often seems to rely on scenarios and received wisdom rather than theory and methodology, with each new fossil or molecular analysis interpreted as supporting evidence for the presumed lineage of human ancestry. We might wonder why we should pursue new inquiries if we already know the story. Is paleoanthropology an evolutionary science? Are analyses of human evolution biological? In this volume, contributors from disciplines that range from paleoanthropology to philosophy of science consider the disconnect between human evolutionary studies and the rest of evolutionary biology. All of the contributors reflect on their own research and its disciplinary context, considering how their fields of inquiry can move forward in new ways. The goal is to encourage a more multifaceted intellectual environment for the understanding of human evolution. Topics discussed include paleoanthropology's history of procedural idiosyncrasies; the role of mind and society in our evolutionary past; humans as large mammals rather than a special case; genomic analyses; computational approaches to phylogenetic reconstruction; descriptive morphology versus morphometrics; and integrating insights from archaeology into the interpretation of human fossils. Contributors Markus Bastir, Fred L. Bookstein, Claudine Cohen, Richard G. Delisle, Robin Dennell, Rob DeSalle, John de Vos, Emma M. Finestone, Huw S. Groucutt, Gabriele A. Macho, Fabrizzio Mc Manus, Apurva Narechania, Michael D. Petraglia, Thomas W. Plummer, J.W. F. Reumer, Jeff Rosenfeld, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Dietrich Stout, Ian Tattersall, Alan R. Templeton, Michael Tessler, Peter J. Waddell, Martine Zilversmit
Author: Jonathan Marks
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-09-08
Genre: Social Science
"This book is about the irreducibility of human evolution to purely biological properties and processes, for human evolution has incorporated the emergence of social relations and cultural histories that are unprecedented in the apes. Human evolution over the last few million years has involved the transformation from biological evolution into biocultural evolution. For several million years, human intelligence, dexterity, and technology all co-evolved with one another, although the first two are organic properties and the last is inorganic. Over the last few tens of thousands of years, the development of new social roles - notably, spouse, father, in-laws, and grandparents - have been combined with new technologies and symbolic meanings to produce the familiar human species. This leads to a fundamental evolutionary understanding of humans as biocultural ex-apes; reducible neither to an imaginary cultureless biological core, nor to our ancestry as apes. Consequently, there can be no 'natural history' of the human condition, or the human organism, which is not a 'natural/cultural history'."--Provided by publisher.
p”Ein auch heute noch bedeutsamer Klassiker“ Daily Express Sind wir Marionetten unserer Gene? Nach Richard Dawkins ́ vor über 30 Jahren entworfener und heute noch immer provozierender These steuern und dirigieren unsere von Generation zu Generation weitergegebenen Gene uns, um sich selbst zu erhalten. Alle biologischen Organismen dienen somit vor allem dem Überleben und der Unsterblichkeit der Erbanlagen und sind letztlich nur die "Einweg-Behälter" der "egoistischen" Gene. Sind wir Menschen also unserem Gen-Schicksal hilflos ausgeliefert? Dawkins bestreitet dies und macht uns Hoffnung: Seiner Meinung nach sind wir nämlich die einzige Spezies mit der Chance, gegen ihr genetisches Schicksal anzukämpfen.
Author: Ian Tattersall
Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
Explores the tools and methods used to study human origins and discusses milestones in human evolution, human movement across the planet, and the beginnings of being human through language, music, art, and technology.
Author: Daniel J. Fairbanks
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 2009-09-18
Since the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s Origin of Species, debate over the theory of evolution has been continuous and often impassioned. In recent years, opponents of "Darwin’s dangerous idea" have mounted history’s most sophisticated and generously funded attack, claiming that evolution is "a theory in crisis." Ironically, these claims are being made at a time when the explosion of information from genome projects has revealed the most compelling and overwhelming evidence of evolution ever discovered. Much of the latest evidence of human evolution comes not from our genes, but from so-called "junk DNA," leftover relics of our evolutionary history that make up the vast majority of our DNA. Relics of Eden explores this powerful DNA-based evidence of human evolution. The "relics" are the millions of functionally useless but scientifically informative remnants of our evolutionary ancestry trapped in the DNA of every person on the planet. For example, the analysis of the chimpanzee and Rhesus monkey genomes shows indisputable evidence of the human evolutionary relationship with other primates. Over 95 percent of our genome is identical with that of chimpanzees and we also have a good deal in common with other animal species. Author Daniel J. Fairbanks also discusses what DNA analysis reveals about where humans originated. The diversity of DNA sequences repeatedly confirms the archeological evidence that humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa (the "Eden" of the title) and from there migrated through the Middle East and Asia to Europe, Australia, and the Americas. In conclusion, Fairbanks confronts the supposed dichotomy between evolution and religion, arguing that both science and religion are complementary ways to seek truth. He appeals to the vast majority of Americans who hold religious convictions not to be fooled by the pseudoscience of Creationists and Intelligent Design advocates and to abandon the false dichotomy between religion and real science. This concise, very readable presentation of recent genetic research is completely accessible to the nonspecialist and makes for enlightening and fascinating reading.
Now in full-color, the Second Edition of Human Evolutionary Genetics has been completely revised to cover the rapid advances in the field since publication of the highly regarded First Edition. Written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, it is the only textbook to integrate genetic, archaeological, and linguistic perspectives on human evolution, and to offer a genomic perspective, reflecting the shift from studies of specific regions of the genome towards comprehensive genomewide analyses of human genetic diversity. Human Evolutionary Genetics is suitable for courses in Genetics, Evolution, and Anthropology. Those readers with a background in anthropology will find that the streamlined genetic analysis material contained in the Second Edition is more accessible. The new edition also integrates new technologies (including next-generation sequencing and genome-wide SNP typing) and new data analysis methods, including recent data on ancient genomes and their impact on our understanding of human evolution. The book also examines the subject of personal genomics and its implications.