Cover image for Who we are and how we got here : ancient DNA and the new science of the human past
Who we are and how we got here : ancient DNA and the new science of the human past
Reich, David (Of Harvard Medical School), author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Pantheon Books, [2018]
Physical Description:
xxv, 335 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
"A groundbreaking book about how technological advances in genomics and the extraction of ancient DNA have profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies. Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear--in part from David Reich's own contributions to the field--that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. Now, in Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He delineates how the Genomic Revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of our own lineage as modern humans; how genomics deconstructs the idea that there are no biologically meaningful differences among human populations (though without adherence to pernicious racist hierarchies); and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of human inequality--among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population"--
Introduction -- Part I: The deep history of our species -- How the genome explains who we are -- Encounters with Neanderthals -- Ancient DNA opens the floodgates -- Part II: How we got to where we are today -- Humanity's ghosts -- The making of modern Europe -- The collision that formed India -- In search of Native American ancestors -- The genomic origins of East Asians -- Rejoining Africa to the human story -- Part III: The disruptive genome -- The genomics of inequality -- The genomics of race and identity -- The future of ancient DNA.
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