Genetics and neuroscience are some of the most mysterious and interesting sciences in our life. So what makes these subjects so attractive? Genetics and neuroscience are connected with each of us. We know that a human being is made of his genes, and partially, shaped and developed by his environment. Culture, education, traditions, and experience contribute to a human’s development to some extent. At the same time, we realize that genes are much more influential than any other external factors. A person’s DNA consists of 46 chromosomes containing all physical and mental information directed to build a person. What is more, genes have a memory. A gene is like a programming code that is responsible for a person’s behavior. Thus, we behave and function according to a particular software hidden deep inside our DNA. No need to tell why so many people are interested in genetics nowadays.
Along with genetics, neuroscience is becoming more popular. Today, it is absolutely clear that brain is the most important organ of the body. Moreover, the brain is the most complicated and complex thing existing in the world. Scientists have already studied and understood our universe’s functioning. On the other hand, the brain remains to be unexplored. There are several parts of the brain that are well-studied. We know that brain consists of cells and neurotransmitters that transmit information between the brain cells. We know that particular parts of the brain are responsible for the sense of happiness, hunger, anger, motivation, thinking, memory, and other functions. At the same time, I can say that neuroscience is just beginning its development. Explorations of the brain began in the 19nth century. Since that time, scientists have not gone far in this science. We still know too little about our brains. As I have mentioned before, our universe consisting of millions of galaxies is better studied than our brains.
To explore and learn more about genetics and neuroscience, I prepared a list of the best books I have written so far. My reviews are not based on the popularity of books. Neither did I pay any attention to the authors. To make clear which books explain genetics and neuroscience more accurately, I read dozens of them. Finally, I selected 8 books. Some of them are fully dedicated to genetics or neuroscience. However, the majority of them include both sciences. These are not classic books on genetics and neuroscience. They are not rigid and cold. The books are entertaining and captivating. Some of them contain a lot of information on evolution, epigenetic, neurobiology, evolution, psychology, and other. Here are the books on genetics and neuroscience I personally recommend to read. This list of books will be regularly updated. Every week, I will add new book worth to spend your time with.
HOW OUR GENES CHANGE OUR LIVES
AND OUR LIVES CHANGE OUR GENES
by SHARON MOALEM MD PhD
Sharon Moalem MD, Ph.D is an award-winning scientist, physician, and New York Times bestselling writer. Sharon uses medicine, history, genetics, biology, and evolution psychology to explain the human body functions in fascinating ways. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Sharon Moalem was featured in loads of popular magazines and newspapers such as New York Times, New Scientist, Time magazine.
Sharon Moalem has written 3 scientific books. To be honest, I knew nothing about the author when I began reading his first book. I found the book truly captivating. The author explains different scientific problems and subjects in unusual and unexpected ways. When you open one of Sharon’s books, you won’t be able to close it till you finish reading. That is what exactly happened to me. Mr. Sharon Moalem has written 3 scientific books so far. I wish the author writes more so that each of us can benefit from his knowledge and wisdom. The author has narrative talents of Dumas, Hugo, and Stendhal. His scientific intellectual capacity is astounding as well.
‘INHERITANCE’ was the first book of Sharon Moalem I read. This is not a classic, boring book on genetics. If it was, I would not even begin reading it. In ‘INHERITANCE’, Sharon Moalem explains and proves that our genes are not absolute. Sharon explains how our environment and lifestyle change our DNA. Through evolution psychology, Sharon Moalem explains how genes are passed from one generation to another. Epigenetics is a branch of genetics that studies inheritance. Partly, ‘INHERITANCE’ is about epigenetics. Both genes and our life make a great impact at each other. In the book, the author explains the process of methylation and VGE – Variable Genetic Expression. Also, Sharon Moalem compares Nazis’ and Soviet’s knowledge of genetics. Both of these parties were wrong. In the case of Nazis, they were over evaluating the influence of genes. This misguidance led to eugenics, and then, finally, to the huge genocide of millions of innocent of people. On the opposite side, the Soviet Union was underestimating, and almost ignoring genetics. They wanted to make all people the same. This stupidity led to terrible consequences as well.
Before reading this wonderful book, my knowledge of genetics was solely based on my assumptions and observations. Like Nazis, I thought that genetics is absolute. I was unaware of such things like methylation, VGE, and other genetic abbreviations. Nonetheless, I still think that genetics is the most influential factor of human life and behavior. This book made my knowledge of genetics, epigenetics, and evolution psychology more profound. Thanks to Dr. Sharon Moalem. I recommend this book to everyone. You will definitely enjoy the reading.
HOW SEX WORKS
Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Fell, and Act the Way We Do
By Dr. SHARON MOALEM
Actually, I do not read books about sex at all. I have written several books and dozens of articles on sex. Therefore, I was thinking that I know near to everything about sex. I was wrong. The saying “YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW” is absolutely true. When I saw Dr. Sharon Moalem’s book ‘HOW SEX WORKS’, I thought that it was a typical book explaining sex based on the evolutionary point of view. Again, I was wrong.
‘HOW SEX WORKS’ covers a huge variety of different topics. In the beginning, Dr. Sharon Moalem explains the physiology of men and women basing her conclusions on genetics, medicine, biology, and evolutionary psychology. I was in awe when I found a lot of unknown and new information in the book. For example, do you know why obese girls reach puberty earlier than thin girls? The book gives detailed scientific answers to dozens of questions. I would say that ‘HOW SEX WORKS’ is not a book about sex. The book is about human anatomy, biology, relationships between the sexes, evolutionary psychology, medicine, and many other topics. I learned a lot of new things from this book. Thanks to Dr. Sharon Moalem. I highly recommend this book for scientific, informative, and entertaining reading.
SURVIVAL OF THE SICKEST
A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease
By Dr. SHARON MOALEM
‘SURVIVAL OF THE SICKEST’ is one of the best books I have read so far. It is a groundbreaking book that provides you with a huge revelation of scientific facts and discoveries. In this wonderful book, Dr. Sharon Moalem explains the causes of modern diseases of such as diabetes, hemochromatosis, high blood pressure, anemia, and many other famous and dangerous maladies. From an evolutionary point of view, in plain language, the author explains how different diseases used to save ancient people.
For example, over exceeding volumes of iron in the blood causing hemochromatosis saved millions of people during the plague (Black Death) in 1349. Nowadays, big amounts of iron in the human body can cause serious health problems. Diabetes was saving people during ice ages. Today, it is one of the most widely-spread and dangerous diseases that kill hundreds of millions of people every year.
‘SURVIVAL OF THE SICKEST’ is a great scientific masterpiece. This is a book of life, genetics, epigenetic, medicine, human and animal biology, and even history. I highly recommend this book.
WHY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE MORE DAUGHTERS
By ALLAN MILLER AND SATOSHI KANAZAWA
‘WHY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE MORE DAUGHTERS’ is a book about human nature. The book was written by two scientists A. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa. Unfortunately, Allan Miller passed away before the book was finished. Nevertheless, he has contributed to writing a big part of this wonderful scientific masterpiece. In the book, two evolutionary psychologists explain our life. Their opinions are mainly based on evolutionary psychology, biology, and medicine. The information in this book is quite accurate. However, I would never fully depend to evolutionary psychology. Psychology is not a science in fact. Psychology builds its conclusions basing on unstable assumptions, predictions, and analysis. Nonetheless, I found the book very informative, interesting, and captivating.
‘WHY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE MORE DAUGHTERS’ will give you answer to such interesting questions like ‘Why Are Diamonds a Girl’s Best Friend?’, ‘Why Does the Baby Have Daddy’s Eyes but Not Mommy’s?’, ‘What Do Bill Gates and Paul McCartney Have in Common with Criminals?’, ‘Why Are Single Women More Likely to Travel Abroad – and Why Are Young Single Men More Likely to be Xenophobic?’, and many other. Sex is the most influential motivation in both women and men. Thus, you will see that sex is behind all of our actions. I liked the book very much. Recommended reading!
From Sex to Money to Food Taming Our Primal Instincts
By TERRY BURNHAM Ph.D. & JAY PHELAN PhD
‘MEAN GENES’ is another great book written to explain our behavior from an evolutionary point of view. Genetics, evolution, evolutionary psychology, hormones, and many other things are frequently mentioned in the book. There is no doubt that genetics and our environment make an impact upon our life. At the same time, I want to mention that our evolutionary instincts shape our daily inclinations. This is what exactly the authors prove in ‘MEAN GENES’.
In the book, scientists Terry Burnham & Jay Phelan explain the reasons and factors behind such things as laziness, liposuction, dieting, addictions, drugs, infidelity, materialism, joy, marriage, conflicts, warfare, and many modern and ancient subjects. ‘MENA GENES’ is a very informative book written in entertaining and easy writing style. I highly recommend this book.
THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE
By DAVID J. LINDEN
Whilst the previous books were explaining human behavior from the evolutionary point of view, ‘THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE’ does the same thing through a strict neurobiological point of view. Neurobiology is an exact science that was proved through experiments and evidence. On the other hand, evolutionary psychology bases its conclusions on mere assumptions. Thus, we can conclude that neurobiology is capable of providing us with more accurate data. ‘THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE’ is one of those incredible books that explains how exactly our brains work. During our lifetime, we spend several years learning different galaxies, planets, countries, animals, plants, and many other things. At the same time, we know nearly nothing about our brains. Therefore, I find it necessary to devote more time studying how our brains work.
In ‘THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE’, David J. Linden explains how pleasure motivates our brain to manipulate our behavior. In fact, our brain is motivated by two things: reaching pleasure and eliminating pain (both psychological and physiological pains). ‘THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE’ shows how the sense of pleasure is generated by different parts of our brain. David J. Linden proves how several neurotransmitters such as serotonin, endorphins, acetylcholine, and dopamine are responsible for the sense of joy, happiness, and pleasure. Also, ‘THE COMPASS OF PLEASURE’ profoundly describes the process of pleasure caused by food, orgasm, psychical exercises, different drugs, generosity, drinks, learning, gambling, and many other activities. This is a ‘MUST READ’ scientific book. I enjoyed the reading, and I obtained a lot of new knowledge and information throughout the process of reading.
YOUR SURVIVAL INSTINCT IS KILLING YOU
By MARC SHOEN PhD
‘YOUR SURVIVAL INSTINCT IS KILLING YOU’ is both practical and very informative book. The book explains the way your brain functions. Throughout different impulses such as pleasure, pain, hunger, and fear, your brain motivates you to make different actions. Unfortunately, our brain was shaped during the time when modern conveniences were not existent. Therefore, its functions are not accommodated and adapted to our daily life. This factor causes a lot of terrible, and sometimes, even dangerous consequences such as depressions, obesity, physical disorders, and so on.
In ‘YOUR SURVIVAL IS KILLING YOU’, Mr. Marc Shoen explains how exactly your brain works. He shows that very dissonance between that ancient software in your brain and the life your have now. Further, Dr. Marc Shoen shows how exactly you should behave in order to retrain your brain, to conquer fear, make better decisions, and finally, thrive in the 21st century. This is a highly positive ranked book. The book helped thousands of people to improve their lives. Wish you benefit from the reading!
YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB
By DAVID MCRANEY
‘YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB’ explores very tiny details of our brain’s functioning. No doubts, we realize and see only what our brains let us see. There is always a curtain in front of our conscience. We are unable to be conscious of absolutely everything happening around us. Billions of bits of information are passed through our brains every second. At the same time, we realize less than 100 bits of it. Thus, our brains always deceive us to make our life less complex. Self-delusion is one of the common things brains use to deceive their owners. The knowledge of these decisive brain tactics will definitely make you smarter. This is what exactly ‘YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB’ is aimed to do.
In ‘YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB’, David McRaney explores and explains such psychological tricks like Narrative Bias, The Common Belief Fallacy, The Benjamin Franklin Effect, The Post Hoc Effect, The Halo Effect, Ego Depletion, The Misattribution of Arousal, The Backfire Effect, Enclothed Cognition, and many other illusionary effects. The book will definitely make your smarter and more self-conscious.