Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years. One of the earliest defining human traits, bipedalism -- the ability to walk on two legs -- evolved over 4 million years ago. Other important human characteristics -- such as a large and complex brain, the ability to make and use tools, and the capacity for language -- developed more recently. Many advanced traits -- including complex symbolic expression, art, and elaborate cultural diversity -- emerged mainly during the pastyears.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the structures of such biological molecules as DNA played little or no role in the thinking of biologists, medical researchers, and ethicists.
In the second half of the twentieth century the knowledge of how DNA is structured and functions helped to transform not only biology but also many other fields, from anthropology to zoology. Whether DNA solves most of the mysteries of life, as Watson believes, or whether Watson and other DNA enthusiasts exaggerate its importance, as some critics believe, both critics and enthusiasts agree that DNA research has created an illuminating body of knowledge with which to be reckoned.
James Watson, an older and famous scientist, wrote this book with Andrew Berry, a young and relatively unknown scientist and science writer, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the double helix. In many ways Watson is an ideal person to supervise such an account, as he played pivotal roles in discovering the double helix, studying the role of ribonucleic acid RNA in the transfer of genetic information, elucidating the genetic code, and heading the early phase of the Human Genome Project, which later culminated in the detailed mapping of the genetic instructions that govern the development of every human being.
Much of the material in DNA: The Secret Life has been written about before, by Watson and others. The primary focus is on the period of DNA history in which Watson was directly involved. After the Double HelixWatson provoked controversy by frankly expressing his opinions on the quirks, faults, and shoddy work of his fellow scientists as well as the women in their lives.
Some of these candid assessments are sprinkled throughout this unabashedly personal view of the history of DNA, but there are also long sections that describe relevant scientific ideas, experiments, and discoveries in an impartial and evenhanded way.
After a brief survey of the pre-double helix history of genetics, the authors begin their story on February 28,when the double helical structure of DNA was first found. His method of using chemical principles and model-building served as an inspiration for Watson and Crick, who, in a further irony, had little chemical knowledge between them.
The double helix proved to be much more important than the alpha helix, because it revealed how hereditary information is stored and how life-forms are replicated.
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One of the major themes in DNA: The Secret of Life is the relationship between nature the influence of genes and nurture the influence of the environment in understanding the phenomena of life. Surprisingly for a person who would mature into a gene enthusiast, the young Watson argued for the importance of upbringing, education, and personal effort in creating a human life.
He then believed that he could make himself into whatever he wanted to be. For his critics, DNA is not the only way to understand human beings, but for Watson, human life is nothing but a concatenation of chemical reactions, and the double helix was important because it brought materialistic thinking into the center of life itself—the nucleus of every cell.
For him, DNA is what makes humans conscious, creative, destructive, even moral. His efforts influenced sterilization laws that were passed in several states and declared constitutional by the Supreme Court and that led to the sterilization of more than sixty thousand individuals.
These laws impressed Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, whose racist ideology resulted in the Holocaust, the The entire section is 2, words. Summary You'll also get access to more than 30, additional guides andHomework Help questions answered by our experts.DNA Summary James D.
Watson, Andrew Berry. For him, DNA is what makes humans conscious, creative, destructive, even moral. Summary; You'll also get access to more than 30, additional.
Jun 05, · Age-related DNA damage is regarded as one of the possible explanations of aging. Although a generalized idea about the accumulation of DNA damage with age exists, results found in the literature are inconsistent.
To better understand the question of age-related DNA damage in . How humans became 'human': Cassandra Turcotte of the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Evolution considers one of our most important questions.
Human origins is being investigated and understood through evolutionary theory, which sees humans placed with the other great apes on the Tree of Life.
Neanderthal DNA. Most researchers agree that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred, though many believe that sex between the two species occurred rarely.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the set of genetic instructions for creating an organism. DNA molecules are shaped like a spiral staircase called a double helix. Each stair is composed of the DNA bases A, C, T, and G.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the set of genetic instructions for creating an organism. DNA molecules are shaped like a spiral staircase called a double helix.
Each stair is .