Download Adam's Curse by Bryan Sykes PDF

By Bryan Sykes

The within tale of the Y chromosome's deadly flaw, as informed through one of many world's top geneticists.

Male reproductive fragility has been the topic of a lot hugely publicized contemporary study. Is it attainable, requested the New York Times, that males face extinction? Bryan Sykes examines the validity of those stunning stories, targeting the defining attribute of guys: the Y chromosome of their DNA. Guiding his readers via chapters like "The Blood of Vikings" and "Ribbons of Life," Sykes masterfully blends traditional background with medical truth, elucidating the biology of sexual copy, glossy genetics, and evolutionary biology. He finds that, whereas the Y chromosome makes man's lifestyles attainable, it additionally consists of inside it the seeds of his destruction. well timed and engaging, this significant paintings covers a wealth of debatable themes, together with even if there's a genetic reason for male greed, aggression, and promiscuity; the prospective lifestyles of a male gay gene; and what, if whatever, could be performed to save lots of males from a gradual, yet yes, extinction.

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This looked like a clear breach of Mendel's rule which set down that the inheritance of one feature was always completely independent of all others. But in the fruit fly this rule was being broken every now and again. Take as an example a milk-bottle mating between a fruit fly with the normal 55 ADAM'S CURSE reddish eyes and short wings and a fly with a noticeably more brilliant eye colour (classified as vermilion) and long wings. Eye colour and wing length were being controlled by two separate genes.

In the end I escaped without ever having the test. During my work on DNA, I have taken finger-prick blood samples from thousands of other people, including children, and I always remember how scared I was myself. Today, however, I am going to have a proper full-size blood sample taken from the vein in my left arm. Luckily, that vein is large and conspicuous, a blue-grey tube that 35 ADAM'S CURSE nobody ever misses. But, even now, I still feel slightly sick as the needle slides in and the dark red blood flows into the vacuum tube.

By degrees, the scientists in Morgan's team realized that, when they saw features being inherited together more often than expected, the genes which controlled them, the genetic instructions that gave the eyes their colour and the wings their shape, must both be contained within the same chromosome. This proved to be a brilliant deduction which was soon expanded to reveal the most astonishing behaviour of chromosomes and, most amazingly of all, the underlying reason for sex itself. Which is why I am telling you about it in such exhausting detail.

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