What makes us react or feel the way we do? If you have ever asked yourself this question, then let gifted writer John Medina take you on a fascinating tour of the questions involved in the quest to understand the biological basis of human behavior. By describing the gap that exists between a human behavior and a human gene, this captivating book both clarifies and debunks ideas about the genetic roots of behavior, from the genes of divorce to the tendency to eat chocolate. Using Dante's The Divine Comedy as an organizing framework, The Genetic Inferno explains each of the "seven deadly sins"--lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride--in terms of twentieth century genes and brains. Written by a practicing research scientist, this book is not only for biologists, but for literature majors, business people, and parents--indeed anyone interested in how our genes work to make us behave the way we do.
'He has admirably attempted to make this as entertaining and easy to read as possible. Indeed, the book's great strength is the lucidity of its exposition of the science of human emotion. further, Medina peppers the text with some quite fascinating examples of seminal research concerning human behaviour ... Medina's prose is energetic and enthusiastic ...'. Canberra Times '... a rich introduction to the current state of the art in understanding the interplay of genes, hormones, synapses and neurotransmitters, which somehow link brains and behaviours ... a cleverly constructed account of some of the most difficult problems of contemporary biology ... welcome additions to the popular literature.' Jon Turney, Times Higher Education Supplement 'Lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and pride: Medina successfully uses these sins from Dante's Purgatorio as a vehicle to introduce those genes and their products that influence human behaviours ... Everyone should read the conclusion - in private, unless you enjoy laughing in public.' Hugh Fletcher, The Biologist 'A book to be read by the non-scientist who wants an in-depth view into the workings of genetics, John Medina is clearly an author to do this job. ... the book is a must for philosophers who still get the creeps when they discuss genetics.' Pierre Mallia, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, A European Journal