Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Epigenetics Revolution

This epigentics book looks interesting. I'll order a copy today.

The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance by Nessa Carey

Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics.

Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.

Here's the official version...
Nessa Carey has a virology PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is a former Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at Imperial College, London. She has worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for ten years. She lives in Bedfordshire and this is her first book.
And what else?
After leaving school I went to the University of Edinburgh to become a vet. This didn't last because I was allergic to fur, unable to think in 3D (not good for anatomy), quite bored and really rubbish at the course. So I dropped out and at Catford Job Centre, in amongst the ads for short order chefs (I couldn't cook) and van drivers (I couldn't drive), was one for a forensic scientist. And oddly enough I had always wanted to work at this end of crime - I must have been the only kid in the UK who had read a biography of Bernard Spilsbury by the age of 11.
So for five years I worked at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Lab in London and studied part-time. I then realised that I loved academic science and went off to do a PhD. At the University of Edinburgh. In the veterinary faculty.
After that, it was the academic route of post-doc, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. But I had a tendency to wander off on routes that intrigued me - degree in Immunology, PhD in Virology, post-doc in Human Genetics, academic position in Molecular Biology. Such wandering isn't necessarily the best idea in academia but the breadth of experience is really valued in industry. I've spent 10 years in biotech and have recently moved to the pharmaceutical sector.
And outside of work? I love birdwatching (no, I don't have a life-list), cycling, scavenging stuff from skips, and growing vegetables. I have a fantasy about one day having a smallholding (where I will starve to death if I really have to be self-sufficient) and I can't wait to write my next book. And I can now cook. And drive.

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