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The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Escrito por Bryan Sykes

Narrado por Michael Page


The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Escrito por Bryan Sykes

Narrado por Michael Page

avaliações:
4.5/5 (21 avaliações)
Comprimento:
9 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Dec 26, 2017
ISBN:
9781541483934
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

One of the most dramatic stories of genetic discovery since James Watson's The Double Helix—a work whose scientific and cultural reverberations will be discussed for years to come. In 1994 Professor Bryan Sykes, a leading world authority on DNA and human evolution, was called in to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy. News of both the Ice Man's discovery and his age, which was put at over five thousand years, fascinated scientists and newspapers throughout the world. But what made Sykes's story particularly revelatory was his successful identification of a genetic descendant of the Ice Man, a woman living in Great Britain today. How was Sykes able to locate a living relative of a man who died thousands of years ago?

In The Seven Daughters of Eve, he gives us a firsthand account of his research into a remarkable gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, Sykes found that they clustered around a handful of distinct groups. Among Europeans and North American Caucasians, there are, in fact, only seven.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Dec 26, 2017
ISBN:
9781541483934
Formato:
Audiolivro


Sobre o autor

Bryan Sykes is a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. He has been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of "Otzi the Iceman," a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BC and "Cheddar Man," the remains of a man found in Cheddar Gorge, from approximately 7,150 BC. It is Britain's oldest complete human skeleton. Professor Sykes in best known outside the community of geneticists for his bestselling books on the investigation of human history and pre-history through studies of mitochondrial DNA.

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Avaliações de leitores

  • (3/5)
    Very interesting subject. But I read a 2001 edition so it’s outdated. Interesting stories but too much imagination in the telling. Hard to tell the validity.
  • (4/5)
    Having been written twelve years ago, Sykes' work on mitochondrial DNA remains a classic in the field of DNA studies for ancestry. There are parts, of course, that are dated at this point because of the progress made in the study of DNA, but some of the information is still very useful in studying how we got to where we are and in the study of the basics in the field itself. Sykes assigned names to the European maternal haplogroups and fictionalized the stories of each of these "seven daughters of Eve." While I understand what the author was trying to do, I'm not sure that was the most effective means of giving life to the groups. The fictionalization seemed out of place in relation to the rest of the book. This work is a must read by anyone interested in genetic genealogy.
  • (5/5)
    Bryan Sykes made several breakthroughs in the extraction of DNA from ancient remains and in the use of mitochondrial DNA to map human origins. While this book is no longer at the cutting edge of genetic research, it retains its value as historical documentation of genetic research. This book won't add names to the branches of your family tree, but it will help you think about the ancient past and your connection to it. Of course, there are always exceptions. I learned that Sykes belongs to mitochondrial haplogroup T. I also belong to haplogroup T, which means that Sykes and I share a common maternal ancestor within the last 17,000 years.
  • (3/5)
    "A traveler from an antique land... lives within us all," claims Sykes, a professor of genetics at Oxford. This unique traveler is mitochondrial DNA, and, as this provocative account illustrates, it can help scientists and archeologists piece together the history of the human race. Mitochondrial DNA is present in every cell in the body, and it remains virtually unchanged (aside from random mutations) as it passes from mother to daughter. By quantifying and analyzing the mutations of this relatively stable circle of DNA, Sykes has solved some of the hottest debates about human origins. For example, he clarified a long-running debate among anthropologists over the original inhabitants of the Cook Islands. After retrieving mitochondrial DNA samples from the island natives, Sykes concluded that the natives emigrated from Asia, not America, as many Western anthropologists had contended. In a similar manner, Sykes analyzed samples from native Europeans to determine that modern humans are not at all related to Neanderthals. The book's most complex and controversial find that the ancient European hunter-gatherers predominated over the farmers and not vice versa leads Sykes to another stunning conclusion: by chance, nearly all modern Europeans are descendants of one of seven "clan mothers" who lived at different times during the Ice Age. Drawing upon archeological and climatic records, Sykes spins seven informative and gracefully imagined tales of how these "daughters of Eve" eked out a living on the frozen plains. (July 9)Forecast: Sykes is a bit of a celebrity geneticist, as he was involved in identifying the remains of the last Romanovs. This fame, plus his startling conclusions augmented by a five-city tour should generate publicity and sales among science, archeology and genealogy buffs.
  • (4/5)
    I found this to be a very informative book as it relates to maternal ancestry through mitochondrial DNA. The contents will be useful enough that I have ordered a hard copy to share with others.
  • (3/5)
    Genetic science and the history of our DNA in a few easy chapters. I enjoy Sykes' language and humour.
  • (4/5)
    A good introduction to the concept of mitochondrial Eve, and the women that became the founding mothers of Europeans. The author does a very good job of explaining his topic, so for all of those who incredulously greet the concept of the 7 mothers with, "Oh, yeah, like we can know that", my answer will be to read this book. He explains it clearly and lucidly, without a lot of technical jargon, so it's possible to understand just how we traced the lineages backward. He has some interesting stories about identifying the bodies of the Tsar and his family from remains found decades after the revolution. The main weak points of the book are the way he shorthands certain topics, important topics, that lead to misleading information. For instance, his work states that Watson and Crick discovered that DNA was the substance of inheritance, but in fact, that was not the case; they merely discovered the structure of DNA (important enough, but let's not rewrite history). Especially annoying was when he gave James Watson the credit for thinking up and performing crystallography on DNA to look at the compound - even Watson doesn't claim that, giving the credit somewhat grudgingly to Rosalind Franklin. One other wholly annoying part of the book was when he constructed fictional histories for the 7 women, creating parents, husbands, and children for them out of whole cloth. There are ways to present this sort of information in an interesting way without resorting to such total fiction, totally out of place in a non-fiction work. It was also interesting that, with one exception, his women's histories all met the standards of acceptable moral behavior among modern, 21st century Europeans (and the one soon corrected her behavior, and began to lead a good Christian life, god rest her soul). This grated. Who's to say our ancestors were so good, so kind, and so intelligent? Is it not possible that at least one of them could have been a thief? A murderer? A prostitute? C'mon, give me a break! Other than that, a good, solid work that should be read widely by those who have preferred not to understand how we know the things we know.
  • (5/5)
    An amazing book that keeps your interest all the way through. Who says science can't be exciting?
  • (3/5)
    On the whole, I liked this book. It was an interesting concept presented in easily understood terms if you were paying attention while reading. The one beef I had with it was the seven chapters where Sykes romantically describes the lives of the seven clan mothers. He gives then families and explained how they lived and died. Now I'm sure there is quite a bit of archaeological proof to back up the kind of tools they used and some of the other details of their lives, but the section was so disjointed with the rest of the book that I found it very hard to switch from fact to fiction and then back again for the remaining two chapters of the book.
  • (5/5)
    I found this an interesting and very informative as well as an entertaining book on a timely scientific subject. It cleared up for me just what mitochondrial DNA is as compared to DNA in general, and how it may be used to link a population to earlier groups. I highly recommend it.
  • (3/5)
    The popularising science part is excellent, though already going out of date, I would guess. The fiction/speculation section is pretty thin and pointless. I'd rather read fiction; or intelligent speculation properly argued as in Mithen's Singing Neanderthals.
  • (5/5)
    Having had my mDNA tested, I needed an easy to understand explanation. This book filled the bill. Understandable and light reading, I couldn't put it down.
  • (5/5)
    interesting. Makes me want to send my dna in to see whose tribe I belong to.
  • (3/5)
    The begging of this books is quite good. The author seems to have some bones to pick with other scientists and the books suffers from this. I found the sections that describe the lives of the 7 daughters to be quite weak as well, but I did learn a lot from this book and I am very glad that I read it.
  • (5/5)
    I learnt a great deal from this well written book.
  • (5/5)
    Very fun. Some parts are no longer accurate, but on the whole intriguing.