The Deeper Genome: Why there is more to the human genome than meets the eye

Paperback | September 15, 2016

byJohn Parrington

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Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn outthat way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought - just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated "junk"? Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still muchdebated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigeneticchanges influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning moreabout ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.

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Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn outthat way. For a start, we turned out to have fa...

John Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, and a Tutorial Fellow in Medicine at Worcester College, Oxford. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in science journals including Nature, Current Biology, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Clinical Investigation,...

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Hardcover|Aug 22 2016

$43.16 online$48.50list price(save 11%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.64 inPublished:September 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199688745

ISBN - 13:9780199688746

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What are genes?1. The Inheritors2. Life as a Code3. Switches and Signals4. The Spacious Genome5. RNA Out of the Shadows6. It's a Jungle in There!7. The Genome in 3D8. The Jumping Genes9. The Marks of Lamarck10. Code, Non-Code, Garbage, and Junk11. Genes and Disease12. What Makes us Human?13. The Genome That Became ConsciousConclusionGlossaryIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a brilliant book - a wonderfully entertaining history of molecular biology and the surprises and controversies of a field still very much in flux, from early explorations to the emerging realisation that the human genome may be far more sophisticated than we ever imagined." --John Mattick, Director, Garvan Institute of Medical Research