x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Book review: Identically Different posits flexibility of DNA

In Identically Different, Tim Spector examines the power wielded by genes over everything from childhood mischief to marital infidelity in adults.

Identically Different
Tim Spector
Phoenix

Tim Spector's initial fascination with twins has led him down many an interesting path, notably to do with his studies as an epidemiologist and further research on our genetic make-up. The "nature versus nurture" argument is predominant in Spector's ensuing discussions on the truth behind the supposed inflexibility of human DNA.

Leading from his previous studies on twins, there are plenty of case studies to support either side of the debate. While shared blood is often the source of many startlingly uncanny resemblances between even estranged family members - the case of the "Jim twins" being the most evident - Spector still goes on to take into account the role of a shifting environment on not just the human physique, but also possibly an individual's mental capabilities and capacity for self-control. These and many other hypotheses are raised over 13 intriguing sections on the true power wielded by genes over everything from childhood mischief to marital infidelity in adults.

Narrated with a scientist's intellect and zest for his field of study, Identically Different is an eye-opening treatise on what makes us tick and why it is indeed a cause for wonder.

* Noori Passela