Download Are We Hardwired?: The Role of Genes in Human Behavior by William R. Clark PDF

By William R. Clark

Taken actually the reply to the name query is clearly "somewhat". The extra attention-grabbing query, as alluded to within the subtitle, is "how much"? This publication presents a great and good documented dialogue of the position of genetics in numerous facets of human habit.

The subject matters coated comprise aggression, consuming issues, substance abuse, cognitive features and sexual choice. The claims made by way of the authors are supported by means of a number of tools. not just are statistical correlations from case reviews used, yet so are motives without delay from biochemistry.

It does not require any precise past wisdom, it offers the entire fabric from biology that's had to stick to the proof. this is often in most cases simple genetics, biochemistry and neurology. This fabric is critical as the authors are very cautious to justify their claims.

To summarize i presumed this used to be an exceptional booklet. the single minor grievance i've got is couple of occasions the authors appeared nearly apologetic whilst the impression of genetics used to be discovered to be better than a few humans it sounds as if wish them to be. whereas the publication is written for non-experts, the truth that the authors help their claims to completely with facts makes this ebook tougher than a standard well known publication.

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Extra info for Are We Hardwired?: The Role of Genes in Human Behavior

Example text

In recent years, scientists have begun uncovering the genes which, in differing allelic forms, account for the behavior of some of the paramecia mutants. The gene underlying both the pantophobiac and fast mutations turns out to be the gene for calmodulin. In paramecia, different regions of the charged calmodulin molecule interact with the Na+ and K+ channels. In fast mutants, a calmodulin mutation has occurred, selectively affecting the region of the calmodulin protein interacting with the Na+ channel.

Rats use pheromones to warn one another about dangers in a particular food source, but also to regulate mating behavior. Cats use them to mark territory and to signal an interest in sex. Pheromone receptors can be extraordinarily sensitive. For example, the pheromone bombykol, released by female silkworm moths, can be detected by a male moth nearly a mile away. Pheromones work at concentrations billions of times lower than is usual for chemically medi- 43 ARE WE HARDWIRED ? ated responses such as taste or smell.

They know how to find food, and are choosy about what they eat. They are alert to danger, and can take evasive action to avoid it. They can find and identify an appropriate mate, and know how to engage in sex. And they do all of this without a brain or a nervous system. A Word or Two about Genes Before we examine the genetic basis of behavior in paramecia, let’s talk for just a bit about the nature of genes and mutations. One of the first principles of biology at the molecular level is that all of the molecules of life—and particularly DNA—are essentially the same in all living organisms.

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