The mother of all of us
Not a chimp : the hunt to find the genes that make us human
Jeremy Taylor.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.
A science documentary film producer delivers this fascinating account of the genes that make people human--and much different from their nearest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee. 15 halftones line drawings.
The primal blueprint
Mark Sisson.
Malibu, Calif. : Primal Nutrition, c2009.
Combining modern genetic science and evolutionary biology, The Primal Blueprint dispels a number of the myths that modern medicine and conventional wisdom have come to accept as fact. Author Mark Sisson takes the reader on a fascinating journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family - exposing potential health issues that arise from trying to do the right things living in the 21st century. Sisson offers a solution in 10 empowering 'Blueprint Lifestyle Laws' that can help us reprogram our genes away from disease and pain towards a direction of effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight; how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain; why doing too much cardio exercise might actually suppress the immune system and how some of today's most common medications might make a health condition even worse. The consummate book on 'Paleo' or 'Primal'
The pure society : from Darwin to Hitler
André Pichot ; translated by David Fernbach.
London ; New York : Verso, 2009.
As genetic manipulation comes to dominate medical science, a timely and trenchant history of eugenics. How did the notions of "race" and "ethnic group," under the cover of scientific legitimacy, get used for political ends? This work retraces the history of biological conceptions of society and their racist and eugenicist applications from the end of the nineteenth century to the post-Second World War epoch. Andre Pichot analyzes the relationship between science, politics and ideology, through the examination of specific cases: from Nazism to the various eugenicist research programs launched or financed by eminent scientific organizations from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards. And, today, with the mapping of the human genome and rapid advances in gene therapies, he warns that the dream of a "pure society" is in danger of resurrection.
Jacob's legacy : a genetic view of Jewish history
David B. Goldstein.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2008.
Who are the Jews? Where did they come from? What is the connection between an ancient Jewish priest in Jerusalem and today’s Israeli sunbather on the beaches of Tel Aviv? These questions stand at the heart of this engaging book. Geneticist David Goldstein analyzes modern DNA studies of Jewish populations and examines the intersections of these scientific findings with the history (both biblical and modern) and oral tradition of the Jews. With a special gift for translating complex scientific concepts into language understandable to all, Goldstein delivers an accessible, personal, and fascinating book that tells the history of a group of people through the lens of genetics. nbsp; In a series of detective-style stories, Goldstein explores the priestly lineage of Jewish males as manifested by Y chromosomes; the Jewish lineage claims of the Lemba, an obscure black South African tribe; the differences in maternal and paternal genetic heritage among Jewish populations; and much more. The author also grapples with the medical and ethical implications of our rapidly growing command of the human genomic landscape. The study of genetics has not only changed the study of Jewish history, Goldstein shows, it has altered notions of Jewish identity and even our understanding of what makes a people a people.
Change your genetic destiny : [the revolutionary genotype diet : your personalized plan to lose weight, boost energy, and improve immunity]
Peter D'Adamo with Catherine Whitney.
New York : Broadway Books, c2007.
With more than five million copies sold worldwide of Eat Right 4 Your Type and additional books in the Blood Type Diet series, Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo pioneered a new, revolutionary approach to dieting-one linked to a person's blood type. In Change Your Genetic Destiny, he takes his groundbreaking research to the next level by identifying six unique genetic types. Whether you are a Hunter, Gatherer, Teacher, Explore, Warrior, or Nomad, Dr. D'Adamo offers a customized program that complements your genetic makeup to maximize health and weight loss, as well as prevent or even reverse disease.

Have you ever asked, "Where did I come from?" Genetics can answer questions about the origins of humans.

Geneticists took a closer look at a small structure found in DNA known as mitochondrion. It lives outside the nucleus of a cell and helps cells use oxygen to produce energy. Everyone gets their mitochondrion (mtDNA) from one parent - their mother.

Scientists studied the mtDNA pattern of variations from around the world. Their findings were clear, that all the mitochondrion stem from one woman who is to have lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa. This woman became known as Mitochondrion Eve. She wasn't the only mother of all of us, she is the surviving one. Other descendant lineage’s died out. The mtDNA was lost for those who had only sons or never had children.

Since mtDNA is handed down from a mother to all of her children, your mother’s mtDNA will not be different from your own or your siblings or, if you are a mother, your own children's.

The mother of all...hamsters

Pet golden hamsters all come from the offspring of one pregnant female caught in Aleppo.

Golden Hamsters

But like all DNA, mtDNA mutates occasionally. The amount of mutation is proportional to the amount of time that has passed. This means that the similarity of mtDNA provides an estimate of how closely they are related. If they have identical mtDNA, they are fairly closely related. If they have very different mtDNA, it means their last common maternal ancestor lived long ago.

mtDNA testing can help you determine if two people are related, descend from the same ancestor and provide clues about your ethnic origin.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff