THE GENETIC STRAND ~ Exploring a Family History Through DNA
Book review and technical detail THE GENETIC STRAND ~ Exploring a Family History Through DNA Edward Ball
|Technical detail of THE GENETIC STRAND ~ Exploring a Family History Through DNA|
|Title||THE GENETIC STRAND ~ Exploring a Family History Through DNA|
|Category||Science & Technology|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
A annoying brainwork on the implications of accurate theories about abiogenetic determinism.Beginning with the National Book Award–winning Slaves in the Ancestors (1998), Ball has accounting four books (Peninsula of Lies: A True Adventure of Mysterious Birth and Taboo Love, 2004, etc.) centered in Charleston, S.C., the home abject of his father’s family. In his latest, he tries to bare the accuracy about his origins with the advice of cutting-edge abiogenetic science. He questions whether the anxiously preserved annal of Ball ancestors ancestry acquaint the accomplished truth. When he accidentally discovers nine baby packets of beard in the abstruse drawer of a ancestors antique that has afresh appear into his possession, he decides to abide samples for abiogenetic analysis, forth with his own beard and that of two cousins. The beard packets were allegedly calm as admired mementos over a 175-year aeon catastrophe in the 1850s. Ball takes them to several argumentative laboratories, which mainly accord with crime-scene affirmation but are additionally able to attending at “ancient” hair. Much of the book describes the alignment active by these labs. Ball additionally delves into the science of genetics, which adds addition ambit to the tale. He is best absorbed in acid his ancestral history, and the after-effects he receives are at aboriginal glance surprising. This leads him to argue anthropologists who abstraction citizenry migrations by anecdotic variations in the genotype of bodies of Asian, African and European descent. His adventure to ascertain added about the origins of his ancestors leads the columnist to appraise added questions about the admeasurement to which claimed character may or may not be bent genetically. He wonders whether our assurance on science is conceivably too uncritical.Twists and turns that battling a well-plotted detective story, complete with a abruptness ending.
The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer's investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family's origins. National Book Award winner Edward Ball has turned his probing gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome -- that of his slave-holding ancestors. What is the legacy of such a family history, and can DNA say something about it? In 2000, after a decade in New York City, Ball bought a house in Charleston, South Carolina, home to his father's family for generations, and furnished it with heirloom pieces from his relatives. In one old desk he was startled to discover a secret drawer, sealed perhaps since the Civil War, in which someone had hidden a trove of family hair, with each lock of hair labeled and dated. The strange find propelled him to investigate: what might DNA science reveal about the people -- Ball's family members, long dead -- to whom the hair had belonged? Did the hair come from white relatives, as family tradition insisted? How can genetic tests explain personal identity? Part crime-scene investigation, part genealogical romp, The Genetic Strand is a personal odyssey into DNA and family history. The story takes the reader into forensics labs where technicians screen remains, using genetics breakthroughs like DNA fingerprinting, and into rooms where fathers nervously await paternity test results. It also summons the writer¹s entertaining and idiosyncratic family, such as Ball¹s antebellum predecessor, Aunt Betsy, who published nutty books on good Southern society; Kate Fuller, the enigmatic ancestor who may have introduced African genes into the Ball family pool; and the author¹s first cousin Catherine, very much alive, who donates a cheek swab from a mouth more attuned to sweet iced tea than DNA sampling. Writing gracefully but pacing his story like an old-fashioned whodunit, Edward Ball tracks genes shared across generations, adding suspense and personal meaning to what the scientists and Nobel laureates tell us. A beguiling DNA tale, The Genetic Strand reaches toward a new form of writing the genetic memoir.
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