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Nessa Carey has a virology PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is a former Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at Imperial College, London. She has worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for ten years. She lives in Bedfordshire and this is her first book.

Interview with Nessa Carey

For our readers who are not familiar with epigenetics, could you give us a brief summary of what it is?

Lots of things that are genetically identical turn out not to look or be the same as each other – the cells in a human body; a caterpillar and the butterfly it turns into; identical twins who develop different diseases ... Epigenetics is the science that explains how this happens, via subtle modifications to genetic material.

What is the best contemporary novel you've read in the last year?

Long haul flights are about the only chance I get to read and I want something that has huge narrative drive to pass the time. I’m a big fan of detective novels, and Mark Billingham is particularly engrossing e.g. Good as Dead.

What do you think is the most exciting potential application of epigenetics?

Creating replacement tissues that are completely compatible with the patient who needs them from their own cells. These won’t rely on organ donors or embryonic stem cells.

What was the book that most influenced your life and why?

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. As an idealistic 19 year old it was a shock that science could be so badly abused, and by scientists as well as politicians.

Do you have a favorite quote or passage from The Epigenetics Revolution that you'd like to share with us?

It’s very puerile, I’m afraid. I was trying to explain how DNA can act like a script and that a mutation in DNA can be like a mis-print in a script. The example I generated was “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore fart thou Romeo?”

If you met an alien from another planet and were asked to recommend one or two books to him/her/it that would summarize humanity, which books would you choose?

Citizens by Simon Schama and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian.

Did you ever read a book and then wish you had all that time back?

Between the ages of 14 and 16 we were made to read Tess of the D’Urbervilles repeatedly for our English course. Is there a more irritating woman in the whole of literature? I would rather bite my own arm off and beat myself to death with the sticky end than go through that again.

If you had a book club, what would it be reading and why?

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, because everyone should stand armed against the rising tide of nonsense that threatens to overwhelm us.

What do you think of eBooks? Do you support digital publishing?

As someone who regularly had a bad back from the number of books I would carry on a trip (I live in terror of not having anything to read), I’d have to support it....

If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

I saw Bedknobs and Broomsticks at a very impressionable age and so have always wanted to be able to live underwater.

eBooks found: 2
Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Nessa Carey
Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Nessa Carey
Columbia University Press, March 2015
ISBN: 9780231170840
Format: ePub
List Price: $28.99 Our price: $25.99
The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Nessa Carey
The Epigenetics Revolution
Nessa Carey
Columbia University Press, April 2012
ISBN: 9780231161169
Format: ePub, PDF
List Price: $17.99 Our price: $13.99
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