The Compatibility Gene [Pdf Download]
Ions of hero to the admittedly tireless and brilliant scientists of his narrative but overall it was an enjoyable and informative read What I found really fascinating in this book are THE STORIES OF SCIENTISTS WHO MADE stories of scientists who made these discoveries and pushed the field of immunology further I ve learned some things about the immune system too of course although it really helps to already know the basic textbook stuff not a book
for complete noobs definitely not But it s the social and personal context that really make it an interesting story even complete noobs definitely not But it s the social and personal context that really make it an interesting story even a science student it is all too easy to forget that all the gazillions of papers were written by real living breathing humans And even easier to overlook the efforts put into by people who founded big fields such as immunology and did something really newAlso the epilogue is a gem I hope the author has some TEDtalks or something seems like he s actually hilarious Great book that finds the sweet spot between pop science and academic It can be a valuable supplement if not essential to an immunology course because at does a great ob describing the history of the field and all the trials and tribulations it took to get to some of the fundamental concepts that we take for granted An added benefit is that it s a great introduction to experimental design as well it goes through a lot of experiments and explains how some could provide only ambiguous answers and the types of positivenegative controls that make for experiments that provide clear cut certaintyOther reviews have talked about how this book spends a lot of time on the personal lives of scientists which is true That being said it was never any less interesting It s a great insight into what a career in research is like the gestation of an idea to published paper the politics the snags scientists motivations and so on If anyone ever wanted to do PhD work this has the added benefit of providing the whole pictureEven if it does devote a lot of time to the personal side the book doesn t suffer any less on the academic side It s still full of many fascinating aspects of immunology on the practical medical applications side and some fascinating future implications A little cheesy and dramatic but really interesting Part two entitled The Frontier of Compatibility Gene Research saved this book for me Part one and part three were terrible Part one comprised a l I read this in a bit of a piecemeal fashion due to holidays so my impressions of it are probably a little scattered than usual It s basically a book which combines immunology and genetics and even some neurology to discuss the way certain genes work in humans Since that s right up my street I found this fascinating although I found some chapters really slow goingOne thing I m not 100% a fan of is the personal details about some of the scientists because it s not really relevant Whether a female scientist prioritises children or her career doesn t have any effect on the importance of her findings and as a way of identifying motives for studying stuff it s pretty weak Not everything has a personal connectionThe main thing I m taking away from this book is that we still don t know half there is to know about the immune system about genetics about our own bodies If that doesn t speak to the importance of such research I don t know what doesDid you
Know That Dogs Have A that dogs have a transmitted cancer Not ust an oncovirus like HPV but a contagious cancerOriginally posted here Featuring the author dropping by to let me know that he s not being sexist by focusing on the fact that the female scientists he mentions don t have families but never replying when I asked why he didn t then make a big thing of it for male scientists tooETA Now featuring the author replying some although he mostly took it to twitter where he accused me of having an agenda. Dies work and is having profound conseuences for medical research and ethics Looking to the future he considers the startling possibilities of what these wondrous discoveries might mean for you and.
summary á eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Daniel M. DavisThis book describes the history of immunology focusing on the genes that help
our bodies to discriminate self from non self the major histocompatibility genes Thebodies to discriminate self from non self the major histocompatibility genes The does a great ob explaining a very complex system that to this day we do not completely understand In addition to the history and we do not completely understand In addition to the history and basic science the author also spends a section of the book on some of the uniue characteristics of this gene including its potential "Function In The Brain "in the brain in body odors and attraction The book is well written and accessible to most with a basic understanding of science I m going to preface this by saying I read this a few years ago and some of the details may be hazy Overall I thought Davis did a great Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education job of introducing a complex scientific topic in a way which makes it accessible to people without a scientific background and overall this was an interesting read if a bit dryHowever than while reading any other non fiction science book I ve read reading The Compatibility Gene made me painfully aware of the bias that women in science have historically faced and continue to face It s not that credit was taken away from women and given to men of course fewer women than men were involved in the discoveries detailed as always in the history of scienceust that there is a disparity in the way in which their personal lives were described I do not think this is Davis fault I am sure he was ust working with the information available to him and that the personal lives and voices of the male scientists included in this scientific story were well recorded than any female scientists involved All the same if women being sidelined is something which upsets you you might not enjoy this book This book by immunologist Daniel Davis concerns the Major Histocompatibility Complex genes MHC also known by the synonym HLA in humans This is what Davis means by his phrase compatibility genes These genes code for cell surface proteins that are key to how the adaptive immune system distinguishes between self and non self What s because of an extremely high degree of variability ie polymorphism in these genes across populations they also determine the success of organ transplants To illustrate the extent of this polymorphism Davis points out that 268000 people from across the UK are represented by 119000 different combinations of compatibility genes adding that this is probably an underestimate of the true extent of genetic diversityI found the book frustrating at times but interesting all the same As far as the history goes of uncovering the mysteries of the MHC genes Davis does a good ob of bringing to life some of the key scientists involved Unfortunately to my mind he doesn t do so well in explaining the science which he seems to dumb down in too many places For example in describing what a protein is he writes that it is a long chains of atoms connected together in a string and fails to mention that a protein is built up from amino acids which is a obvious way of defining a protein even to a non scientist Something that really grated with me was Davis s use of the phrase compatibility genes when referring to the MHC genes a term he seems to have devised for this book but which as far as I know is not used by other scientists researching this field To make matters worse and presumably to make it punchier the title of the book uses the singular form ie the compatibility gene which suggests that a single gene is involved which is not the case But that s enough of the negatives On the positive side I was impressed that Davis had personally interviewed a good number of scientists when authoring this account Conseuently the pen portraits that he includes undoubtedly contain information not likely to be found elsewhere For example from interviewing Eric Schadt a leading light in genomics I learned that A tiny cluster of our genes holds the key to how we combat disease how our brains are wired how attractive we are even how likely we are to reproduce In The Compatibility Gene one of our foremost im. .
E was the son of Christian parents who considered a college education to be worthless to the point that when Schadt left the US Air Force to attend college his father reckoned he must have become possessed by the devil and should never again return home Incredible I thought that such attitudes persisted into the late 20th century One of the best chapters for me examined the ways that sense can be made of genetic information in the development of new medicines It s been known for many years that most
DISEASES AND CONDITIONS ARE NOT CAUSEDand conditions are not caused a single gene but rather result from many genes acting in concert Therefore there is much interest in studying interactions between genes which has prompted a lot of research into these relationships But here Davis retells a parable there was once a kingdom that had a map of the land but it wasn t considered sufficiently informative The call went out for a better map one that measured and recorded the land down to the last minute detail The result was a perfect map but it proved totally useless because it was as big as the kingdom itself The message here is that it is fine to collect and information but very important to sift through it to determine what is important and what information but very important to sift through it to determine what is important and what t otherwise we end up crushed under a mountain of data but none the wiser about what it meansIn this chapter Davis also ponders how a scientist can select a field to research that is likely to yield results that are both new and important As he points out My view is that since the very essence of discovery is that nobody predicted it who s to know what s best to do next Too true And a good response to those tiresome people who uestion why a particular field of research is being pursued when at least in their opinion there are far worthier topics that should be investigatedI found the book went downhill in the final three chapters where Davis speculated that the MHC genes may influence our choice of partners our mental wellbeing and the success of pregnancy Here I felt that he may have overinflated the role of MHC genes at the expense of the immune system in general because after all the MHC is only a part of a system that is considered by some to be second only to the human brain in terms of its complexity Overall this is a good book but would be a better book were it not for the irritating reference to compatibility genes rather than MHC or HLA genes On a similar note the book is also let down by poor explanations of the basic science as if Davis feels that the likely readership would be unable to understand personally I suspect that most readers attracted to this book will have some grounding in science I think the book would also benefit from some diagrams to
Explain The Science At Presentthe science at present is ust one figure On the other hand the text is well referenced with a useful index both being features I much appreciate in a popular science book Some of the best popular science books tell us as much about the people as the science and that is the approach taken by Daniel Davis In exploring the compatibility gene or accurately the compatibility genes I don t know why it s singular in the title He takes us on a voyage of discovery through the key steps to identifying the small group of genes that seem to contribute to making that individual or l A short compelling look at the immune system s major histocompatibility complex Davis effectively explains how the immune system recognises self and non self and thus effectively identifies disease within the body or on occasion fails to He also looks at the other ways that the compatibility genes affect our body for instance there is an interesting section on the impact of the immune system on pregnancy He also details the major scientific achievements that led to these discoveries I could have done with slightly fewer appellat. Munologists tells the remarkable history of these genes' discovery and the unlocking of their secrets Davis shows how the compatibility gene is radically transforming our knowledge of the way our bo.