The Compatibility Gene (Paperback)
  • The Compatibility Gene (Paperback)

The Compatibility Gene (Paperback)

Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 28/08/2014
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Short-listed for the Society of Biology Book Award 2014
Long-listed for the Royal Society Winton prize for science books 2014

In The Compatibility Gene, leading scientist Daniel M Davis tells the story of the crucial genes that define our relationships, our health and our individuality.

We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive cluster of these genes plays a disproportionately large part in how our bodies work. These few genes, argues Davis, hold the key to who we are as individuals and our relationship to the world: how we combat disease, how our brains are wired, how attractive we are, even how likely we are to reproduce.

The Compatibility Gene follows the remarkable history of these genes' discovery. From the British scientific pioneers who struggled to understand the mysteries of transplants to the Swiss zoologist who devised a new method of assessing potential couples' compatibility based on the smell of worn T-shirts, Davis traces a true scientific revolution in our understanding of the human body: a global adventure spanning some sixty years.

'Unusual results, astonishing implications and ethical dilemmas' The Times

'Packed with an insider's knowledge' New York Times

'He makes immunology as fascinating to popular science readers as cosmology, consciousness, and evolution' Steven Pinker

'An elegantly written, unexpectedly gripping account' Bill Bryson Guardian, Books of the Year

Daniel M Davis is director of research at the University of Manchester's Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research and a visiting professor at Imperial College, London. He has published over 100 academic articles, including papers in Nature and Science, and Scientific American. He has won the Oxford University Press Science Writing Prize and given numerous interviews for national and international media. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241956755
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 191 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm

Who am I? What makes me different from everyone else? Daniel Davis recounts the remarkable science that has answered one version of these questions -- Steven Pinker
Ostensibly about a set of genes that we all have and need, this book is really about the men and women who discovered them and worked out what they do. It's a search for the essence of scientific greatness by a scientist who is headed that way himself -- Armand Marie Leroi, author of 'Mutants'
The Compatibility Gene cuts through the complexity to reveal the startling truth about perhaps the most important section of the molecule that defines what it means to be human -- Steve Jones, author of 'Almost Like A Whale'
Davis weaves a warm biographical thread through his tale of scientific discovery, revealing the drive and passion of those in the vanguard of research * The Times *
Davis makes the twists and turns all count * Guardian *
Davis ranges energetically through the research. Cultural references and anecdotes abound * Nature *
A fascinating, expertly told story -- Michael Brooks * New Statesman *
The genes that make you a true individual ... Davis provides a well-written and easy-to-read account of the sometimes complicated biology behind the crucial genes that affect our lives so profoundly * New Scientist *
Wonderful pen-portraits of the many scientists involved in this fast-moving field ... 5 out of 5 stars -- Henry Gee * BBC Focus magazine *
Dr. Davis's readable and informative book takes the reader into unexpectedly interesting corners of both the immune system and the lives of immunologists. It is packed with an insider's knowledge - not just of the field, but of where its bodies are buried -- Nicholas Wade * New York Times *
An elegantly written, unexpectedly gripping account of how scientists painstakingly unravelled the way in which a small group of genes ... crucially influence, and unexpectedly interconnect, various aspects of our lives... Lab work has rarely been made to seem more interesting or heroic -- Bill Bryson * Guardian, Books of the Year 2013 *

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