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DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America av…

DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America (urspr publ 2012; utgåvan 2012)

av Bryan Sykes

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1879110,783 (3.26)19
Crisscrossing the continent, a renowned geneticist provides a groundbreaking examination of America through its DNA.
Titel:DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America
Författare:Bryan Sykes
Info:Liveright (2012), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America av Bryan Sykes (2012)

  1. 00
    The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome av Alondra Nelson (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both books look at the application and effect of DNA testing among African Americans.
  2. 00
    Henrietta Lacks odödliga liv av Rebecca Skloot (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Sykes' book touches on issues of research ethics that are explored more fully in Skloot's book.

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» Se även 19 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 9 (nästa | visa alla)
Thoroughly fascinating. Brought back memories of my trip on the California Zephyr (the SLC Amtrak is indeed a type of "shack") - this book is equal parts road movie, socio-anthropology, and biological science. Despite some bumbling constructions (the section on the US Census map contained references to states which were clearly wrong, for instance), overall, it has a compelling forward narrative, and I would find it very interesting to have my chromosomes "painted" in this way. ( )
  charlyk | Nov 15, 2019 |
A genetic Portrait of America
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
I really wasn't certain what to expect of Sykes' much-celebrated book on American DNA, but this book was not exactly what I expected. I guess I expected him to describe the various influences on the genetic make-up of of a typical American. I knew that would be a difficult task to tackle, but this book was not what I expected. Instead he talks about the various testing companies and tests. He speaks of a group with colonial USA roots he tested at New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. When I read the narrative description, I was certain I knew a few of the persons tested. When I saw their pictures (complete with aliases), I did know about five of those tested. This was the only group that he selected, and he did chromosome painting on them all when he returned to Europe and includes that in an appendix.

The bulk of the book, however, deals with his travels across America. In the trip, he visited various companies and persons influential in the genetic genealogy field. However, he did spend a great deal of time sight-seeing as well. We gain very little insight into what went on in those conversations but have wonderful descriptions of things such as the Yellowstone fire or his bunk on the Amtrak train.

I spotted several inaccuracies throughout the book such as the date of the first American census. Sykes says it was 1800, but it was 1790. Sykes does a wonderful job in the early part of the book of summarizing some DNA studies that had been done in a format appealing to the average reader. He left statistical data for those of us with stronger interests in that sort of thing in the appendix. While the book is worthwhile, it is becoming dated as more studies abound and results of some of the other studies are updated, although I follow the results of one study and know that the overall conclusions have not changed since the book was written. Genetic genealogy is now being taught and studied in institutes and workshops across the United States. The literature of the field is growing with case studies utilizing DNA evidence are being published in journals such as National Genealogical Society Quarterly on a regular basis. While this book will be considered a "pioneer" book in the field, it will likely be overshadowed by the case studies published in journals, by the results of studies published on web sites, and by books with strong case study content. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jul 26, 2016 |
Geneticist Bryan Sykes had already written books on mitochondrial DNA, Y DNA, and the DNA of the British Isles when he turned his attention to the United States for this book. The US is sometimes referred to as a “melting pot”, and that phrase could be used to sum up this book. It very briefly addresses territory covered more thoroughly in his earlier books, and adds autosomal DNA to the mix. He looks at the different attitudes toward DNA testing in African American, Native American, and Jewish American communities, and these discussions lead to discussions of research ethics. I wasn't expecting was the travel narrative that made up the middle portion of the book. Dr. Sykes spent several months traveling in the US while researching this book, and the middle chapters of the book are heavy on the details of the places he saw and the people he met but light on information about genetics and DNA.

Sykes has a gift for explaining a complicated subject in terms that a non-specialist can understand. It's not difficult reading, and I never had to go back and re-read passages in order to understand the concepts presented. I've done a fair amount of reading about genetic genealogy, and he offers the clearest explanation I've seen of why the statistical models that work so well for population geneticists are less accurate at predicting degrees of relationship at the individual level.

The book could have used more careful editing. Sykes places the Tuskegee syphilis study in Arkansas rather than Alabama, and he mistakenly dates Strom Thurmond's filibuster of the Civil Rights Act in 1967 rather than 1957. He also quotes a San Francisco waitress's response to his question about the identity of fellow hotel guest Mike Singletary as “That's their [San Francisco 49ers] chief coach.” I'm certain that she would have said “head coach”, and his American copy editors just missed this.

This book will appeal to readers with an interest in the genealogical applications of DNA. It may also appeal to readers with an interest in the research ethics aspect of books like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jul 16, 2016 |
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
I thoroughly enjoyed it although it was often hard to follow the genetics and the history involved in the different groups that make up the USA. I am also not sure why the DNA paintings of the individual participants in the study were in the middle of the book when they weren't explained until later and were not really discussed in any detail until the last chapter. Also why were names of famous people used as aliases. Overall the book is well written and not only opens up a world of DNA but also discusses the history involved and even becomes a travelogue as the author describes his travels across the country collecting the DNA samples. The main things I gained from the book is a desire to find out more about the human genome and a clearer realization that our DNA really comes from many of our ancestors not just our parents. We may identify ourselves as a specific ethnic group but in reality our DNA may hold some interesting surprises. Imagine the KKK member who finds out they have an African ancestor. Basically, our DNA makes us who we are and we are a combination of many generations of ancestors. Depending on how the DNA combines and mutates along the generations some of our ancestors DNA may eventually no longer even exist in our chromosomes. I would love to have my DNA analyzed out of scientific curiosity alone, let alone any specific useful knowledge. ( )
  jwood652 | Sep 29, 2013 |
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Crisscrossing the continent, a renowned geneticist provides a groundbreaking examination of America through its DNA.

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