Many people see their fate as rather like a cake, which can be sliced into a piece called Nature – what you are born with: your DNA -- and another known as Nurture --the way you live. Life -- genetics --alas, is not so simple; to separate those ingredients one would have to unbake the cake, which is impossible.
The UK’s Professor Steve Jones is keenly interested in understanding diversity, the role of natural selection and the nature of genetic differences between species. His research has led him to study the ecological genetics of snails, fruit flies and humans. In more recent years however, with information on the genetics of human populations expanding, Jones’ interests have moved more towards human genetics.
In this talk, the award-winning science writer discusses everything from the genetics of the royal family and the Siamese cat to what happens to those who eat too much cake and whether genes might indeed influence our chance of becoming obese.
Jones was guest of the CSIRO in Canberra.
Professor Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics at the University College London. He has written a number of popular books on genetics and evolution, including "The Language of the Genes", "Y: The Descent of Men" and "Darwin's island".
Jones has won the Rhone-Poulenc book prize and the Yorkshire Post first book prize in 1994; and the BP Natural World Book Prize in 1999. He was awarded the Royal Society Faraday Medal for public understanding of science in 1997 and the Institute of Biology Charter medal in 2003. More recently, he won the 2009 Zoological Society of London/Thomson Reuters Award for Communicating Zoology, for his book "Coral: A Pessimist in Paradise".
In 2011, he was elected President of the UK Association for Science Education.
Evolutionary biologist Steve Jones says the genes responsible for circulating testosterone in men are also to blame for most violent and criminal behavior. He argues, however, that the environment in which a person is raised plays an equal role.
Process that results in adaptation of an organism to its environment by means of selectively reproducing changes in its genotype. Variations that increase an organism's chances of survival and procreation are preserved and multiplied from generation to generation at the expense of less advantageous variations. As proposed by Charles Darwin, natural selection is the mechanism by which evolution occurs. It may arise from differences in survival, fertility, rate of development, mating success, or any other aspect of the life cycle. Mutation, gene flow, and genetic drift, all of which are random processes, also alter gene abundance. Natural selection moderates the effects of these processes because it multiplies the incidence of beneficial mutations over generations and eliminates harmful ones, since the organisms that carry them leave few or no descendants. See alsoselection.
Well, I did find this lecture quite interesting. Steve touched on a diverse range of reasonably provocative topics. His insight into the dna mutation that stops a gene from coding for the leptin protein was quite fascinating. Mind you, I can see how Steve's talk may be best suited for an intermediate curiousity of how our brain's chemistry and mechanisms work. But, that assessment should not lessen the value of this talk.
It is impossible to watch this lecture because they almost never show the screen which has the pictures and graphs. When they do, the screen is so small that nothing can be seen! I would much prefer not seeing the speaker AT ALL and just seeing the screen and hearing the speaker!! Also, I don't need to see the audience. Give me the screen instead!
I tend to agree. Some rehashed ideas, (the selfish gene)doesn't seem to be anything forward thinking particularly. It is obvious to most people that both genes and nurture/environment have massive importance in defining ones character and that this 'environmental conditioning' is 'the' most powerful factor.
Also, when we talk of science and philosophy why always look back at American findings? One of the youngest nations on the planet and with that one of the least experienced. Those tests that were done years ago where people shocked the patient with electricity, right past the point of danger were Americans. This showed that American culture would bring these results yet it was presumed that was the same for every nation. That is just wrong However, I digress
Everyone KNOWS red heads (and strawberry blondes) are the nicest, funniest and smartest people in the world. So, that proves genes DO play a role in personalities. Red hair = Good.
If you don't agree, just tell that to a red head, as our 2nd trait is "fire to the brain" (be prepared to run).
Apparently this guy has no interest cultural or environmental conditioning. He makes no real reference to it nor does he obviously understand it or much less the importance of it. He also apparently does not understand the importance of biological or genetic propensity and the appropriate chemistry applied to it. Appropriate is the key word here.