Publication Date: June 09, 2017
Binding: Kobo eBook
A thought-provoking exploration of deleterious mutations in the human genome and their effects on human health and wellbeing
Despite all of the elaborate mechanisms that a cell employs to handle its DNA with the utmost care, a newborn human carries about 100 new mutations, originated in their parents, about 10 of which are deleterious. A mutation replacing just one of the more than three billion nucleotides in the human genome may lead to synthesis of a dysfunctional protein, and this can be inconsistent with life or cause a tragic disease. Several percent of even young people suffer from diseases that are caused, exclusively or primarily, by pre9;]existing and new mutations in their genomes, including both a wide variety of genetically simple Mendelian diseases and diverse complex diseases such as birth anomalies, diabetes, and schizophrenia. Milder, but still substantial, negative effects of mutations are even more pervasive. As of now, we possess no means of reducing the rate at which mutations appear spontaneously. However, the recent flood of genomic data made possible by next-generation methods of DNA sequencing, enabled scientists to explore the impacts of deleterious mutations on humans with previously unattainable precision and begin to develop approaches to managing them.
Written by a leading researcher in the field of evolutionary genetics, Crumbling Genome reviews the current state of knowledge about deleterious mutations and their effects on humans for those in the biological sciences and medicine, as well as for readers with only a general scientific literacy and an interest in human genetics.