Darwinian Detectives

Darwinian Detectives : Revealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes

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Biology is often viewed today as a bipartisan field, with molecular level genetics guiding us into the future and natural history (including ecology, evolution, and conservation biology,) chaining us to a descriptive scientific past. In Darwinian Detectives, Norman Johnson bridges this divide, revealing how the tried and true tools of natural history make sense of the newest genomic discoveries. Molecular scientists exploring newly sequenced genomes have stumbled upon quite a few surprises, including that only one to ten percent of the genetic material of animals actually codes for genes. What does the remaining 90-99% of the genome do? Why do some organisms have a much lower genome size than their close relatives? What were the genetic changes that were associated with us becoming human? As molecular biologists uncover these and other new mysteries, evolutionary geneticists are searching for answers to such questions. Norman Johnson captures the excitement of the hunt for our own genetic history. Through lively anecdotes, he explores how researchers detect natural selection acting on genes and what this genetic information tells us about human origins.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 7 lineart, 10 halftones
  • 0195306759
  • 9780195306750
  • 2,024,448

Review quote

The book will provide useful information for people who want to know what molecular evolutionists are currently doingshow more

About Norman A. Johnson

Norman A. Johnson, an evolutionary geneticist, is the author of numerous research publications, mainly in the genetics and evolution of reproductive isolation between nascent species. Johnson has taught at the University of Chicago, University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Massachusetts, where he is currently an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences.show more

Table of contents

1. The Baby with the Baboon Heart: Why Evolution Still Matter ; 2. Why Intelligent Design Is Not Science ; Interlude 1: Natural Selection ; 3. Negative Selection and the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution ; 4. Detecting Positive Selection ; 5. Balancing Selection and Disease ; Interlude 2: Human Origins and Evolution ; 6. Finding Our Roots: Did "Eve" Know "Adam"? ; 7. Who were the Neanderthals? ; 8. Are We the Third Chimpanzee? ; 9. What are the Genetic Differences that Made Us Human? ; 10. Clicks, Genes, and Languages ; 11. Who Let the Dogs in? The Domestication of Animals and Plants. ; 12. Size Matters: Toward Understanding the Natural History of Genomesshow more

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