Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes

Identically Different Why You Can Change Your Genes This book is about how minor life events and the choices we make as well as those made by our ancestors fuse with our inherited genes to mould us into individuals What makes you so different to your

  • Title: Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes
  • Author: Tim Spector
  • ISBN: 9780297866312
  • Page: 446
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This book is about how minor life events and the choices we make, as well as those made by our ancestors, fuse with our inherited genes to mould us into individuals What makes you so different to your siblings Why do you vote a certain way, remain faithful for twenty years, believe in God, love salads, be heterosexual, get cancer or depression, dislike sport or never putThis book is about how minor life events and the choices we make, as well as those made by our ancestors, fuse with our inherited genes to mould us into individuals What makes you so different to your siblings Why do you vote a certain way, remain faithful for twenty years, believe in God, love salads, be heterosexual, get cancer or depression, dislike sport or never put on weight Using fascinating case studies of identical twins, Tim Spector draws gems from his exhaustive research project that has spanned twenty years to show how even real life clones with the same upbringing turn out in reality to be very different Based on cutting edge discoveries that are pushing the frontiers of our knowledge of genetics, he show us that contrary to recent scientific teaching nothing is completely hard wired or pre ordained Challenging, enlightening and entertaining, Tim Spector explains theories such as why the Dutch have become the tallest nation in the world, why autism is heritable than breast cancer and what could cause a fit and healthy man to have a heart attack within weeks of his overweight, heavy drinking, heavy smoking identical twin Conceptually, he argues, we are not just skin and bones controlled by our genes but minds and bodies made of plastic This plastic is dynamic slowly changing shape and evolving, driven by many processes we still cannot comprehend Many of the subtle differences between us appear now to be due to chance or fate, but as science rapidly evolves and explains current mysteries we will be able to become active participants in this human moulding process Then we can really begin to understand why we are who we are and what makes each of us so unique and quintessentially human.

    One thought on “Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes”

    1. I wasn't sure how this would turn out, since it mentions the widely ridiculed Lamarckian theory of inheritance, and the subtitle "Why You Can Change Your Genes" might sound a tad self-helpy. Luckily, it is actually a sound examination of current epigenetic theory, based on MZ and DZ twin studies looking at heritability. It makes an excellent follow-up to James Watson's DNA, in that it moves on from the gene-centric view of biology to the more nuanced ideas we have now.I've always been fascinated [...]

    2. Tim Spector is a UK scientist who studies twins, particularly to explore what traits are inherited and which are not. He uses this as an entree into the field of epigenetics, which looks at how environmental and other influences change the way a genome functions without actually changing or mutating the DNA itself.To make this book more appealing, I surmise, he broke it down into different human traits like violence, obesity, parenting and sexual orientation, and in each chapter he tells the sto [...]

    3. I appreciated this book for the data, but found many of Tim Spector's social ideas to be outdated, and some of his medical knowledge to be off.For example, he wonders about the "G-spot" and if all women have it. The G-spot is a part of the clitoris so yes, all those who have a clitoris have it. He also wonders about the "usefulness" of the female orgasm and arousal, and if it will "stick around or disappear, evolutionarily". I find his thoughts about this to be uneducated and not based in scienc [...]

    4. Best pop-science book I've read in ages. Cutting edge research presented in a witty and accessible way. Has genuinely changed the way I think about life, inheritance and evolution. Can't recommend it enough.

    5. An interesting book on how our genes aren't as fixed as scientists have long thought they were.Interesting, but not as much as his other book "The Diet Myth".Recommended for the scientifically minded.

    6. "Essentially, epigenetics is the mechanism by which environmental changes alter the behaviour of our genes," he says. "This involves a process known as methylation, which occurs when a chemical known as methyl, which floats around the inside of our cells, attaches itself to our DNA. When it does so, it can inhibit or turn down the activity of a gene and block it from making a particular version of a protein in our bodies." Crucially, all sorts of life events can affect DNA methylation levels in [...]

    7. I read this after quite a few other of the books that Tim Spector refers too and coincidentally while on holiday with friends who have non-identical twins. I learned a lot that was new to me namely epigenetics which helped me make more sense of what is apparent but anecdotal about my own life experiences and the differences you see between people I know who are related. A fascinating, insightful and scientific read that in places made me laugh out loud.

    8. A gene for this, a gene for that, add in a whole stack of twins, with epigenetics playing peek-a-boo and you have a rather dull book. This book might be more interesting if you aren't familiar with genetics, but if you are, then there is nothing new here. If you are looking for a more detailed book on epigenetics, look elsewhere.

    9. The conclusion of every chapter (whether he was looking at sport or religion) is the same - your phenotype is influenced by both nature and nurture. Isn't that what we've always known? There were no revolutionary findings, and I got bored of this book towards the end and didn't finish it.

    10. Well-written, concise overview of what's known about epigenetics and "Fat Genes", "Gay Genes", "Infidelity Genes", "Bacteria Genes" and more.

    11. A really fascinating read about epigenetics. It really makes you realise how much we still have to learn about our genes and microbiome. I felt it was also really well balanced between explaining science to non-specialists without dumbing it down or patronising the reader. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in human development and disease.

    12. Among other things, I learned it's not weird that my twins have different tastes in chocolate; that's "nurture."

    13. The rating: * For the work behind the book. The most important Star for a science book.* For engagement, also important in a non-fiction book. It really maintain the interest with short funny histories about the siblings. * For the topic. Epigenetics is on the street! haha* For the writer, instead he's a doctor he teach us like a Scientist! Surprised. In two lines, this book shows in a really user friendly way what are the phenotypic facts of epigenetics and the importance that its have in our u [...]

    14. The rating: * For the work behind the book. The most important Star for a science book.* For engagement, also important in a non-fiction book. It really maintain the interest with short funny histories about the siblings. * For the topic. Epigenetics is on the street! haha* For the writer, instead he's a doctor he teach us like a Scientist! Surprised. In two lines, this book shows in a really user friendly way what are the phenotypic facts of epigenetics and the importance that its have in our u [...]

    15. The rating: * For the work behind the book. The most important Star for a science book.* For engagement, also important in a non-fiction book. It really maintain the interest with short funny histories about the siblings. * For the topic. Epigenetics is on the street! haha* For the writer, instead he's a doctor he teach us like a Scientist! Surprised. In two lines, this book shows in a really user friendly way what are the phenotypic facts of epigenetics and the importance that its have in our u [...]

    16. I would really give this book only 1.5 Stars. I have read and enjoyed most of Malcolm Galdwell's books and I was looking forward to read this book by Tim Spector. The author is obviously quite knowledgeable about the subject and the topic is interesting, but he lacks the gift of writing. None of the topics he described comes to life, the background and anecdotal stories of the subjects, the twins, are flat. I found some of the philosophy and the methods used to measure the "giggle gene" to be do [...]

    17. This book is essential reading for any person interested in genes but it's also important for anyone who went to school before 2010ish. The reason being that what we were taught about our genes being fixed is erroneous. Spector shows that the environment can play a huge role in how genes express themselves and can in some instances even change your genetic makeup, this is known as epigenesis. Great news for people who looked at genetic makeup in a fatalistic and pessimistic way. The science is t [...]

    18. «Identically Different» er ein god tittel for kva denne boka er: masse forteljingar om tvillingstudiar som viser oss utslaga arv og mil kan gi.Undertittelen «How you can change your genes» kan umogleg ha vore ein del av arbeidstittelen, men må vera slengt inn av marknadsavdelinga som ville prøve å få dette til å høyrest ut som ei bok om epigenetikk. Det er det på ingen måte. Om du trur du skal lesa bevis for at du kan endre gena dine, blir du lurt. Dessverre.Absolutt god og interessa [...]

    19. This was an annoying book to read.The author has no talent for writing and constantly says silly or stupid things. It's like his brain doesn't have a filter on it,and he talks like a hyperactive 6 year old.On page 70 he says: "a wave of best selling bookshave all provided the same clear message"As if what a bunch of pop writers say is scientific proof of something.

    20. Loved the case study results, and the science proposed both challenged and intrigued me; however, I would get bored when there was too much scientific speak and, it is petty, but I was annoyed that weights and spelling usage were decidedly British, as it made me think I didn't know how to spell some words properly or that there were proofreading errors, and am I really supposed to know the equivalent of someone weighing four stones?! ;) At any rate, still a pretty interesting book.

    21. Fascinating book that quotes many favourite authors (Gladwell, Dweck, Syed) about how your genes aren't static and subject to change via epigenetics and environment of previous generations. Didn't understand some of it but recommend to everyone. I think I'm a lesbian because my fourth finger is longer than my index finger (lots of testosterone in the womb).

    22. Really fascinating. Not quite what it says in the title, it is more about what is and is not controlled by genes and research into what turns them on and off, and how much there is that we just don't yet know in this area. There is also some interesting stuff about inheriting things which are not strictly gene related, and speculation on possible causes of autism, obesity and diabetes.

    23. I've marked it as read, but I couldn't actually get through it. Spector either isn't at the exciting forefront of new scientific thought generally related to gene-environment interaction or he is, but isn't very good at writing about it.

    24. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The author shows how identical twins could be different. How environment, epigenetics and luck play part in a person's life. The book is well researched. It is written in a very interesting style. /review/edit#

    25. I bought this thinking that it would be about DNA methylation's effect on our genomes, but it is just the usual nonsense about "heritability" in twin studies.

    26. I'd heard about epigenetics before, but this expanded on it. The book seems to ask more questions than answer them, but it was still interesting and the author's style is easy to read.

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