Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

What can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives?

Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo’s mission to answer this question, and recounts his ultimately successful efforts to genetically define what makes us different from our Neanderthal cousins. Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA.

We learn that Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominin relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Drawing on genetic and fossil clues, Pääbo explores what is known about the origin of modern humans and their relationship to the Neanderthals and describes the fierce debate surrounding the nature of the two species’ interactions. His findings have not only redrawn our family tree, but recast the fundamentals of human history—the biological beginnings of fully modern Homo sapiens, the direct ancestors of all people alive today.

A riveting story about a visionary researcher and the nature of scientific inquiry, Neanderthal Man offers rich insight into the fundamental question of who we are.

Title:Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780465020836
Format Type:

    Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes Reviews

  • Lois Bujold

    Good science writing by the actual scientist, always a plus. Part autobiography, part earnest attempts to guide the reader accurately through all the complex steps by which such genetic work is actual...

  • HBalikov

    I have a friend who is a science professor and we attend a book group together. A few years back he suggested the book Spillover by David Quammen and I found that its impact on me was tremendous. I ap...

  • Jean

    I found this most interesting and fun book to read. It is written in the first person just as if Svanto Paabo was sitting beside the reader telling the story of how he mapped the genome. Some technica...

  • Steve

    Overall, this book did not completely live up to my expectations. While it was a fairly interesting premise, the author veered off track too often for me.Author's Premise: Are we related to Neandertha...

  • Elizabeth Theiss

    Svante Paabo, perhaps the most eminent paleo-geneticist in the world, has written a science blockbuster recounting the trail of his sequencing of the Neanderthal and Denisovans genomes. Not only has h...

  • Elyse

    Ever since I had my DNA analyzed by 23andMe and they told me I am 2.6 percent Neanderthal I've wondered how that is possible. This book explains the complexities. It is written by the leader of the pr...

  • Mary Mimouna

    A hard-to-put-down true-life science detective story about decoding the Neanderthal genome. Later chapters include Denisovans. Book ends in updated Postscript telling of the latest research on the Fox...

  • Alison

    This will be one of my top reads of 2014. This disarmingly frank tale of Paabo's thirty years at the cutting edge of historic DNA sequencing work as a tale of scientific pioneering, giving rare insigh...

  • Nikki

    This book is less about Neanderthals themselves and more about the biological and technical details of extracting their long-extinct genomes from the preserved bones weā€™ve found, and also about Svan...

  • Mag

    What a fascinating ride! From working on the genome itself, through the way research institutions work to the personality of Paabo himself. The book is written very much in the same convention as The ...