mccormick


bookshelf

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

If you look at my wardrobe, you will not find anything green, red, or purple. I loathe those colors. Why? I have a genetic condition called protanopia, more commonly known as color vision deficiency or color blindness. Ok, so calling it a “genetic condition” seems ridiculous. My inability to distinguish some colors does not have a real negative impact on my daily life. Sometimes, I buy a purple shirt when I wanted a blue shirt and at times, I cannot identify the black car from the dark green cart. Apparently, I cannot become a police officer or a certain type of airplane pilot, but those professions were not really on the table for me.

Color vision deficiency is a sex-linked trait carried on the X chromosome. My maternal grandfather was colorblind and my mom passed the recessive gene on the X chromosome to me (and one of my brothers).

I am always amazed at what we know as humans. The fact that we have discovered the real building blocks of life is incredible. And though our knowledge is built on centuries of information, recent discoveries over just the past few generations has revolutionized the way we look at everything.

Genetics is an incredibly interesting subject that is still in its infancy. There are plenty of apprehensions towards the future of genetics but I think we have a long way to go until we have to worry about genetically modified human hybrids enslaving the world.

This book is dense. There is a lot of information. The book flows through history, scientific breakdown, and personal experience. My only complaint about the book is the amount of information. I think it could have been pared down a little; less is sometimes more.

All in all a great book. It is not as “accessible” as I would like; meaning, I felt lost and dumb a few times.