Freakenetics: The Freakonomics of Genetics

Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Notice any similaries between the two books pictured above? On the left is Survival of the Sickest by Dr. Sharon Moalem and Jonathan Prince due out tomorrow. On the right is Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

  1. Both have an apple pictured prominently on the cover and Survival of the Sickest even has the same apple green as the apple shown on the cover of Freakonomics.
  2. Both are published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins (why is that one word?).
  3. Both are written by an expert coupled with a professional writer. Dr. Sharon Moalem has a PhD in physiology and focuses on neurogenetics and evolutionary medicine.
  4. Both approach complicated subjects with a lighthearted, quirky air. Chapters in Survival of the Sickest include: Ironing It Out; Hey, Bud, Can you Do Me a Fava; and Jump into the Gene Pool.

I haven’t gotten too deep into Survival of the Sickest yet but was struck by one of the passages in the Introduction:

…DNA isn’t destiny–it’s history. Your genetic code doesn’t determine your life. Sure, it shapes it–but exactly how it shapes it will be dramatically different depending on your parents, your environment, and your choices. Your genes are the evolutionary legacy of every organism that came before you, beginning with your parents and winding all the way back to the very beginning. Somewhere in your genetic code is the tale of every plague, every predator, every parasite, and every planetary upheaval your ancestors managed to survive. And every mutation, every change, that helped them better adapt to their cirumstances is written there.

More on Survival of the Sickest once I’m done reading. For more, visit the Surivival of the Sickest blog.

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