Book ID: CBB586763183

Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome (2020)


Chadarevian, Soraya de (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 272
Language: English

By focusing on chromosomes, Heredity under the Microscope offers a new history of postwar human genetics. Today chromosomes are understood as macromolecular assemblies and are analyzed with a variety of molecular techniques. Yet for much of the twentieth century, researchers studied chromosomes by looking through a microscope. Unlike any other technique, chromosome analysis offered a direct glimpse of the complete human genome, opening up seemingly endless possibilities for observation and intervention. Critics, however, countered that visual evidence was not enough and pointed to the need to understand the molecular mechanisms.   Telling this history in full for the first time, Soraya de Chadarevian argues that the often bewildering variety of observations made under the microscope were central to the study of human genetics. Making space for microscope-based practices alongside molecular approaches, de Chadarevian analyzes the close connections between genetics and an array of scientific, medical, ethical, legal, and policy concerns in the atomic age. By exploring the visual evidence provided by chromosome research in the context of postwar biology and medicine, Heredity under the Microscope sheds new light on the cultural history of the human genome.

Reviewed By

Essay Review Daniele Cozzoli (2022) The Age of Molecular Biology. Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pp. 947-952). unapi

Review Miguel García-Sancho (2022) Review of "Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 466-468). unapi

Review Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (2021) Review of "Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 301-303). unapi

Review Jenny Bangham (2022) Review of "Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome". Journal of the History of Biology (pp. 609-611). unapi

Review Lisa Gannett (2022) Review of "Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 900-901). unapi

Review Reynolds, Andrew S. (2021) Review of "From Cells to Organisms: Re-envisioning Cell Theory". Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 642-654). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Chadarevian, Soraya de
Fabrizio Rufo
Pereira Martins, Lilian Al-Chueyr
Wright, David
Valles, Sean A.
Tudge, Colin
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History of the Human Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Filosofia e História da Biologia
British Journal for the History of Science
University of Chicago Press
Oxford University Press
Hill & Wang
Human genetics
Science and politics
Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg
Weismann, August
Penrose, Lionel
Müller-Wille, Staffan
Morgan, Thomas Hunt
Mendel, Gregor Johann
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
United States
Great Britain

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