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Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes [Format Kindle]

Svante Pääbo
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

A preeminent geneticist hunts the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human?

What can we learn from the genes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo’s mission to answer that question, beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2009. From Pääbo, we learn how Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominin relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Drawing on genetic and fossil clues, Pääbo explores what is known about the origin of modern humans and their relationship to the Neanderthals and describes the fierce debate surrounding the nature of the two species’ interactions.

A riveting story about a visionary researcher and the nature of scientific inquiry, Neanderthal Man offers rich insight into the fundamental question of who we are.

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4.0 étoiles sur 5
4.0 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 de l'ADN et des hommes 17 mai 2014
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Superbe aventure de la recherche de première ligne, avec ses tracas humains et techniques, les problèmes et leurs solutions, la course contre le temps, les remises en questions, les joies de l'aboutissement. Les méthodes les plus récentes de la génétique de l'ADN ancien sont clairement exposées.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 Pipolisation de la science 4 février 2015
Par Yves
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Ce livre a plus une valeur sociologique que scientifique. Si on ne connaît presque rien à la génétique, on reste frustré parce que les notions de base sur le sujet ne sont pas expliquées. La valeur du livre n'est donc pas à chercher dans la qualité de la vulgarisation scientifique. Mais il donne une image fidèle du fonctionnement actuel de la science : course à la publication - de préférence dans Nature ou Science - et compétition pour obtenir des financements.

Svante Pääbo raconte sa carrière scientifique dans l'ordre chronologique et donne les détails de sa vie privée. Mais qui cela intéresse-t-il ?
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 drôle de livre 1 avril 2015
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Half biography half science book, this book is a neat way to glimpse into the world of how science is made. Parts of the book were absolutely exhilarating. Sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal man should be on the top 100 of the greatest things accomplished by mankind.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Captivating! 27 avril 2015
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I read it whenever I had time, and it was hard to stop reading it: a thrilling way of telling what was one of the most stunning discovery of this decade!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  155 commentaires
72 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Decoding the genomes of our extinct relatives! 14 février 2014
Par Sam Santhosh - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
With the completion of the full human genome sequence in 2003 and the rapid fall in DNA sequencing costs over the subsequent 10 years, we have been awaiting major advancements in many fields such as Healthcare, Agriculture, Drug Discovery and so on. However, the progress has been slow and the deluge of genome sequence data has been a tough problem to handle.

But, Svante Paabo in this fascinating book on the 'Neanderthal Man' shows how the new technologies have enabled him to sequence the genomes of our extinct relatives - the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. The data proves how our ancestors moved out of Africa about 50,000 years back and interbred to a small extent (2 to 7% of our genes come from them) with the Neanderthals and Denisovans and maybe drove them to extinction. Many interesting facts come out of these studies such as, (a) that gene flow seems to have been from the Neanderthals to us (and not the other way), (b) the founding population of the Neanderthals also seems to have pretty small like in the case of the humans (c) we split from the Neanderthals about 500,000 years back (d) the Denisovans split about 1 million years back (e) the Denisovans seem to be closer to the Neanderthals than to humans, and much more...

The book is not only fun to read, but Paabo's detective mode of story telling will also keep the reader focused. By mixing his personal stories with scientific research, Paabo provides a refreshing frankness to the narrative. We get a direct view of the challenges in scientific research and how the role of institutional support and adequate funding can make research a success. Paabo's journey from Egyptian mummies to Mammoths, to Sloths and finally the Neanderthals and Denisovans is a great inspiration to all students of science. He shows how passion, perseverance, attention to detail, and collaboration can deliver results not only in Science but in all aspects of life.

Paabo explains the Science very clearly and the narrative shows us how he has become the world's expert in 'ancient DNA'. But in order to do that he often has to go into intricate details of lab work which some readers might find difficult to follow. Still it will not affect the story and if you are interested to learn how we became what we are, this is a book that you should not miss.
34 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Read on Discovering "Old" DNA 17 février 2014
Par Dr. Terrence McGarty - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The Neanderthal Man, by Svante, is a compelling recount by a principal in the discovery of genes of the Neanderthals. It starts with the interest in recovering DNA from old sources, and in this case some liver bought at the local market and then desiccated in an oven at 50C. The tale spans over some twenty years, with diversions typical of science, and ultimately ends with the publishing of some of the most interesting results in understanding man and his evolution.

Svante is an exceptionally good writer and the tale flows quite smoothly. If one understands the science, then one can fill in the gaps and the tales is well presented. If one does not understand the science then one can still appreciate what is happening by taking the results presented at face value.

The tale works back and forth from the fundamental science to the interrelationships between various players in the overall search. Svante shows how he managed to deal with the anthropologists and others to get samples of Neanderthals from as far away as Siberia. It also demonstrates some of the more cooperative nature of science as new techniques is shared and how Svante is assisted by many others who are but in related fields.

The efforts span from California to Eastern Russia and it shows that in today's environment the ability to communicate changed what would have been multi-lifetime efforts into a fast paced move to provide the final answers.

This book is a stark contrast to Watson's Double Helix. The Helix is a strong interplay of personalities; it portrays competitiveness and at times pettiness that is common in certain scientific endeavors. Helix was a true race, a sprint to get DNA right, and a succinct set of observations which became the underpinnings of Svante's efforts. Svante is the opposite of Watson. The ego is missing; the collegiality if present, yet one still sense the pace. Yet it is not a pace with an edge, it is a steady pace to get it right.

This is definitely a great book for those seeking to understand the Neanderthal developments as well as understanding perhaps how the research community has matured as it has expanded.

Also, upon some reflection, I recall when I first read Watson's Double Helix just after it was published I could recognize the highly competitive world of research since I was still at MIT. In contrast Svante portrays a totally different world, one more of communications and cooperation. The worlds of Watson and Svante are separated by some half century, and the difference is startling, one is near ruthless and the other collegial, with a sense of cooperation moving forward. Great job!
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best book on this sort of subject since 'The Double Helix' 11 mars 2014
Par Patrick L. Boyle - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Some commenters here were disappointed that this book is not about Neanderthals but rather about the process of decoding the Neanderthal genome. Sorry about that - I suggest you read another book.

This book has a chapter on dinosaurs too. There are no dinosaurs in that chapter and apparently there are no dinosaurs in amber either. Pääbo explains why it's so hard to get nuclear or mitochondrial DNA from fossils 'only' tens of thousands of years old. We won't be making dinosaurs the way they did in Spielberg's movie. All that dinosaur DNA has long since degraded.

One of the single deepest insights this book presents is the problem of contamination. You find an ancient fossil that has human DNA in it, and you do a PCR on it, almost all of your results will be non-human. I think he found about 98% of all the DNA in one of his samples was from various forms of contamination. If a human bone is lying on the floor of a cave, every mouse, every centipede, every critter of any kind that crawls over it and every dust particle that falls on it also has DNA. So it's not surprising that laying on a dirty floor for 20,000 years contaminates your specimen.

This is really a book about the actual process of science. Pääbo is a big success for a variety of reasons. Some intellectual - he's real smart - but also social. He seems to be a good supervisor and a good person. Good people want to work with him or for him. He is very far from being a recluse locked up alone in his lab. He goes to meetings and conferences around the world where he picks up contacts that help him later on. He seems to mix well with people from all walks of life. He is very non-nerdy.

At one point he reaches a crisis because he need five million dollars for some machine time on a new sequencer. Pääbo writes of his dread of asking for so much money. I thought as I read this - this is real 'Big Science'. But then I thought - five million dollars isn't all that much. Almost any little solo Internet project that I dream up costs that much or more. In private industry I often had projects that size. In government I never had one that small.

The point is he only had a few people working with him and he had very little access to serious money yet this is the story of one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs in the last few decades. Science is a cottage enterprise. One wonders what would be possible if we were to 'scale up'.

Pääbo himself is a little confusing. He goes out of his way to explain that he is a homosexual. But he's not a typical gay man. He has a wife and has had at least one kid. This is not the normal pattern. Pääbo seems to be very mentally stable. I'm a little at a loss to understand all this.

Pääbo names most of the people who have worked for him over the years. This is refreshing. Some academics attribute every discovery made in their lab to themselves personally. Pääbo goes out of his way to apportion credit. This book should be required reading for grad students who want to get ahead. It's a primer on proper behavior for a modern scientist.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent coverage and insight 1 mars 2014
Par Sharon Robideaux - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
As a novice to the field of genetics, I feared that this book would be too technical. However, it was so well written that I felt comfortable with my ability to understand. I enjoyed the detailed look into the world of real scientists, people who are still people despite being extraordinarily bright and hard-working. The only negative was the inclusion of the author's complex sexuality. It seemed irrelevant.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 What do you get when you mix a life story, biochemistry and fossil finds? This book! 21 mars 2014
Par Larry Cosgrove - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Let me say that I very much wanted to give this writing five stars. What ultimately swayed me against a perfect score was the middle of the book, weighed down by so much talk of chromosomes, nucleotides, and DNA processing. That is OK with me or someone with a scientific background, but I am afraid the average reader will be lost.The insights into Dr. Paabo's life and work were excellent, as was the political intrigue involved in obtaining valuable hominim bones for examination and tetsing. Besides the build-up of Neanderthal type finds, a very interesting development at the end of this piece was the finding and determination of the Denosovan types, as well as their place in genetic history and contribution. One hopes that this is not the last public examination of DNA tested human genealogies from Svante Paabo, as many more historical and evolutionary mysteries need to be solved. And yes, Homo Floriensis needs to be looked into!
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