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Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth.
It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how
nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also
highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the
foundations of epigenetics.
Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and
queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before
they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on
drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma.
Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and