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Your Birth Biography: Genome, The Autobiography Of A Species In 23 Chapters

1065 words - 5 pages

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, by Matt Ridley, as its title suggests is an autobiography, and at first glance it seems to be written by Matt Ridley, as a member of that species, the Human Race, but this book is not an autobiography, it is a documentation of an autobiography, the karyotype, the genome, the DNA of humans.
Matt Ridley starts his documentary of the Genome with an allusion to the bible, “In the beginning was the word” and at first it seems that he is describing DNA, after all, the title of the book is Genome, and a genome is the collective DNA of an organism, but he then flips the story suddenly to surprisingly reveal that the word is RNA, DNA’s easily ...view middle of the document...

This suggests that all organism are descendent from an organism which used that structure of microtubule, but this could just as easily suggest that the different LUCA’s either all had that structure, or all joined forces, and mixed their structure to homogenously create the 9+2 structure.
In all of the chapters of Genome, Ridley uses multiple pieces of evidence to support his idea, he gives both sides of either account, and fairly explains which pieces of evidence are the most persuasive, even if he disagrees with them. But one point which stood out to me, Ridley used very touching stories to persuade the audience not to believe his side of the argument, but the fact that the argument must be a topic of debate,. An example is in the chapter entitled fate, the fourth chapter of the book, chromosome 4. There are many diseases caused by a very simple mutation, the insertion of too many sequences of CAD, these are the polyglutamine diseases because the CAD translates into glutamine in the cells, and for all of these diseases, the disease is not present at an early age, but the disease is certain later in life. As Ridley explained, the 50% chance is merely an average, there is a 50% chance you have the mutation or you don’t, but once that is decided, there is either a 100% chance you will get the disease or 0% chance. If you are tested for Huntington's chorea the result of positive or negative is absolute and guaranteed. In addition, the approximate age at which you will get the disease is almost just as certain, it is relative to the number of extra CAD repeats you have. But going back to the point at the beginning of this paragraph, Ridley used a very touching story about a women who went to be tested for Huntington's chorea, she went to a ‘hut’ where she was tested based on signs that show at an early age, before the advent of the actual disease, and the doctor who tested her realized that she was going to have the disease, but instead of telling her...

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