Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Paperback | March 24, 2015

bySvante Pääbo

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ONE OF AMAZON'S TOP 100 BOOKS OF 2014

Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo's mission to answer this question: what can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA. We learn that Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominid relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Pääbo's findings have not only redrawn our family tree, but recast the fundamentals of human history—the biological beginnings of fully modern Homo sapiens, the direct ancestors of all people alive today.

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From the Publisher

ONE OF AMAZON'S TOP 100 BOOKS OF 2014Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo's mission to answer this question: what can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome i...

Svante Pääbo is the founder of the field of ancient DNA. The director of the department of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Pääbo has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, National Geographic, and The Economist, as well as on NPR, PBS, and BBC. In 2009 Time named him one of the 100...

other books by Svante Pääbo

Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:March 24, 2015Publisher:Basic BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0465054951

ISBN - 13:9780465054954

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“Neanderthal Man opens with this episode [when Pääbo and his team first sequenced Neanderthal DNA], and it's a nice touch by Pääbo, bringing us straight to the moment when his long, painstaking effort to tease ancient DNA out of hominin fossils yielded its first dramatic results.”—David Quammen, Harper's“Pääbo has provided us with a fabulous account of three decade of research into ancient DNA, culminating in 2010 with the publication of the Neanderthal genome.... Pääbo's book has to be compared to The Double Helix (1968), James Watson's brilliant but controversial account of how the structure of DNA was discovered. When taken together they provide an insight into how bio-molecular science has both changed and remained much the same during the last half-century. Both are strong personal accounts of scientific discovery, exposing how science is driven as much by passion, ambition, and competition as by rational thought and the sharing of knowledge. In both books the reader is gripped by life stories of far greater interest than those in may novels before being plunged into passages of near-unintelligible science (despite much simplification) that are nevertheless strangely enthralling.”—Steven Mithen, New York Review of Books