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 Book: Neanderthal Man

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Book: Neanderthal Man   Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:05 pm

Svante Paabo's account of the project to sequence the Neaderthal genome, and all the scientific challenges of resurrecting 30,000 year old DNA. Contrary to Jurassic Park, DNA begins to decompose as soon as the cellular repair mechanisms stop working, and it only gets worse with moisture or bacterial growth or human handling.

Nevertheless after immense effort and some very clever shortcuts, he was basically able to do it.

But the book is about more than that.

Unusual for a non-fiction science book, Paabo delves into the politics of cutting edge science -- labs competing for grants, senior researchers refusing to share interim results for fear of being scooped, star researchers being poached by other labs, secretive development of innovative lab techniques, sniping among scientists with differing interpretations of shared data.

And Paabo goes a step farther. He is bisexual, and has been involved in some tricky love triangles among his colleagues. His matter-of-fact descriptions of getting his research assistant's wife pregnant, three years before they divorced, is woven into a narrative about reactants and gene splicing. It's very odd.

Paabo comes across as not a particularly likable man, but his own self-image admits this possibility and embraces his own human failings.

It's an interesting combination of memoir and scientific detective story.
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PostSubject: Re: Book: Neanderthal Man   Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:40 am

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PostSubject: Re: Book: Neanderthal Man   Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:38 am

My DNA shows to be 1.5% Neanderthal and 0.7% Denisovan.
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