When A Gene Makes You Smell Like A Fish: ...and Other Amazing Tales About The Genes In Your Body

Paperback | June 15, 2007

byLisa Seachrist ChiuIllustratorJudith A. Seachrist

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From the gene that causes people to age prematurely to the "bitter gene" that may spawn broccoli haters, this book explores a few of the more exotic locales on the human genome, highlighting some of the tragic and bizarre ways our bodies go wrong when genes fall prey to mutation and thecurious ways in which genes have evolved for our survival. Lisa Seachrist Chiu has a smorgasbord of stories to tell about rare and not so rare genetic quirks. We read about the Dracula Gene, a mutation in zebra fish that causes blood cells to explode on contact with light, and suites of genes that also influence behavior and physical characteristics;the Tangier Island Gene, first discovered after physicians discovered a boy with orange tonsils (scientists now realize that the child's odd condition comes from an inability to process cholesterol); and Wilson's Disease, a gene defect that fails to clear copper from the body, which can triggerschizophrenia and other neurological symptoms, and can be fatal if left untreated. Friendlier mutations include the Myostatin gene, which allows muscles to become much larger than usual and enhances strength and the much-envied Cheeseburger Gene, which allows a lucky few to eat virtually anythingthey want and remain razor thin. While fascinating us with stories of genetic peculiarities, Chiu also manages to effortlessly explain much of the cutting-edge research in modern genetics, resulting in a book that is both informative and entertaining. It is a must read for everyone who loves popular science or is curious aboutthe human body.

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From the Publisher

From the gene that causes people to age prematurely to the "bitter gene" that may spawn broccoli haters, this book explores a few of the more exotic locales on the human genome, highlighting some of the tragic and bizarre ways our bodies go wrong when genes fall prey to mutation and thecurious ways in which genes have evolved for our s...

Lisa Seachrist Chiu is a journalist and writer who has covered the cutting edge of genetics, medicine, and molecular biology for more than a decade. She's been published in United Press International Syndicate papers, Science, Science News, BioWorld Today, Discovery.com, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She lives in Washington...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 5.31 × 7.91 × 0.59 inPublished:June 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195327063

ISBN - 13:9780195327069

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"In telling these stories, the author explains how genetic information controls human traits."--Science News