Greg Gibson, a professor of genetics at the University of Queensland, makes the ‘nature vs nurture’ debate seem like a fusty old concept best left in the 20th century, as should the idea that a single gene creates a single trait.
Instead, Gibson paints a compelling picture – in all its frustrating complexity – of how our genes work together, using the latest breakthroughs to explain how it takes your entire genome to build just one trait. He argues that specific combinations of common genes can make us pre-disposed to certain diseases – and that many of these diseases are also brought on the modern environment.
Focussing on disease, the book covers the evidence for breast cancer, diabetes, asthma, allergies, AIDS, psychological diseases and Alzheimer’s.
If you have your wits about you and can handle the regular introduction of jargon (all concisely explained), it’s a fairly straightforward read. And with sub-headings and bolded text, it is easy to skim read or to skip to the section that most interests you.