The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Bryan Sykes


The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

  • Title: The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
  • Author: Bryan Sykes
  • ISBN: 9780393323146
  • Page: 289
  • Format: Paperback



In 1994 Bryan Sykes was called in as an expert to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy for over 5000 years the Ice Man Sykes succeeded in extracting DNA from the Ice Man, but even important, writes Science News, was his ability to directly link that DNA to Europeans living today In this groundbreaking book, Sykes reveals howIn 1994 Bryan Sykes was called in as an expert to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy for over 5000 years the Ice Man Sykes succeeded in extracting DNA from the Ice Man, but even important, writes Science News, was his ability to directly link that DNA to Europeans living today In this groundbreaking book, Sykes reveals how the identification of a particular strand of DNA that passes unbroken through the maternal line allows scientists to trace our genetic makeup all the way back to prehistoric times to seven primeval women, the seven daughters of Eve.


Recent Comments "The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry"

The first half of this book gives an excellent and detailed description of Bryan Sykes’ thrilling investigative journey whereby he uncovers findings and develops his theory regarding mitochondrial DNA, DNA that is passed down from mother to child that, according to Sykes, can give us a record back through our mothers due to measurable degrees of mutation.While reading this book, keep in mind that, according to the author himself, the fictitious representations of the "Seven Daughters of Eve" a [...]

Too much of this book is fiction, and what isn't fiction is sometimes plain wrong. On p26 he claims that Watson & Crick used X-rays to calculate the positions of atoms within DNA. This is totally untrue. Watson & Crick did NO experimental work on DNA,an English woman did the X-ray work and watson & crick "borrowed" her work.And borrowed much more from others. He also claims there was a "general lack of interest inby most of their contemporaries" Again, FALSE, in the 1930's an america [...]

This is a good read, fascinating and well told. Who wouldn´t be interested to know that everyone in modern day Europe was born of seven mothers: seven clan heads who had no idea they were mothering the entire continent?The hows and whys of why of this are answered in the book, told in a kind of grandfatherly, gentle, humble way by Sykes. Included in the ride is a debunking of the Kon Tiki explanation of the populating of the South Sea islands and a fairly simple to understand background in what [...]

This book was surprisingly moving. The largest portion of the book is dedicated to presenting genetic science in a language that a simple laywoman such as myself can understand. I am still blown away that human beings have figured so much of this stuff out. But then Sykes goes on to imagine the lives of the seven women from whom most (>95%) of modern Europe’s inhabitants are descended. The surprisingly moving part of the book came as Sykes discusses the change of humans from a nomadic hunte [...]

I picked up this book because I was interested in learning more about mitochondrial DNA and its inheritance patterns. In the first part of the book Sykes, a primary researcher in this field, does a solid job about explaining mitochondrial DNA and the history and process of how he used it in his research, tracing the questions he was asking and the methods that he and his team used. In the second part of the book, he “names” several ancestral women, all identified by their individual DNA sequ [...]

I have been reading Saxons, Vikings, and Celts by the same author but have put it aside so that I can finish this book!!!I am a Sociologist by training with an emphasis on Anthropology so this is of real interest to me. Sykes writes for the average person but is of great interest to the professional.As some of the reviewers noted, the last half of the book is what the author imagines the lives of these "clan mothers" must have been like. Personally, it helps the non-scientific reader understand [...]

Brilliantly written and fascinating book. I guess the science is getting quite old by now, as it was written in 2001, but it was a wonderful account of how mitochondrial DNA developed. I thought that Bryan Sykes made a very complex topic extremely relatable for somebody that knows little about DNA and gene structures. I only picked this up as my daughter borrowed a selection of science books for her studies, but I read the synopsis and thought it sounded intriguing myself. I was definitely not d [...]

This is a very interesting book. It is very well written. Bryan Sykes explains the science involved in his story in a very interesting fashion.It is fascinating and mind-boggling to imagine that as few as seven women could be ancestors of a whole continent of Europe. The author makes it clear in his book, that these seven women were not the only women of their times. Also, he explains that they were ancestors by maternal lineages only. There must be many other women who are ancestors of millions [...]

I snatched this book up in a used book store specifically to learn more about mitochondrial DNA, tiny little packets of genes inside a cell that are passed down the maternal line with a mutation only once in every 10,000 years or so. What does this mean? It means that my siblings and I all share the exact same mitochondrial DNA as my mother, and her mother, and her mother's mother's mother. My brothers did not pass that little M-DNA packet to their children as it is only in the egg, not the sper [...]

One of the earlier books that started the genetic genealogy revolution. Most of the book is an insider's look at the process of making scientific discoveries, getting funding, publishing, and dealing with critics. A process that, in this case, quite happily ended up at full acceptance. Mitochondrial DNA illuminates the maternal line and gives us strong evidence both for relatedness of different populations and human migration over tens of thousands of years.The seven daughters of Eve are not sis [...]

After enjoying DNA USA so much, this was disappointing. I loved the stories, research hurdles, and data of the first portion, but the rest went down in a mudslide. The amount of speculation was enormous especially in origin of Polynesians, movement of neo-paleolithic peoples, and dating of the clusters. What made it worse is that he later referred to these conclusions like 'clearly,' 'as we now know,' 'without a doubt,' without furthur support, data, research, or reasoning. These footings were s [...]

Very interesting science book considering that it was written in 2001. Fast paced book that is very easy to read even for non-science people, like myself. First half of the book I read pretty fast on my summer vacation, second half took some time. Perfect introduction into popular science books.

This is a really interesting read. due to the science content (bearing in mind the time that has elapsed since my biology A'Level) it tool longer than I would have liked to read it, but I enjoyed it. The first 250pages are the non-fiction journey to the discovery, where the author discusses the research, the journey, publication and having to defend the research against critics and newer studies, and it's a fascinating insight into the world of scientific research. Then there are imagined storie [...]

"A traveler from an antique land lives within us all," claims Sykes, a professor of genetics at Oxford. This unique traveler is mitochondrial DNA, and, as this provocative account illustrates, it can help scientists and archeologists piece together the history of the human race. Mitochondrial DNA is present in every cell in the body, and it remains virtually unchanged (aside from random mutations) as it passes from mother to daughter. By quantifying and analyzing the mutations of this relatively [...]

Interesting science, which I don't totally understand but it goes something like this. Since we all have 50% DNA from father, 50% from mother, there's no way to trace back via DNA to see if somebody today is related to, say, DNA from a body found frozen in the ice of Italy from 20,000 years ago, since every generation back, our DNA would get more and more mixed and jumbled. BUT, there's a certain piece of DNA called Mitochondrial DNA that is passed on from the mother and never changes. Apparentl [...]

Big fat meh. I didn't find it particularly well-written or engrossing and I really didn't enjoy the fictional bits. I know Sykes was trying to make the 7 daughters of Eve more real, easier to relate to, but I found it trite and a little nauseating. I've read other books on genetics and found them much more interesting and informative, for some reason this one just slid off my face. The only thing I found truly interesting was the mention of race at the end (literally 5 pages before the end!) and [...]

A great way to start out investigating genetics. Minimal science-speak. Maximal story about what goes on in the lab and in the archeological dig and in the scientific confab.It's a tough sell, but once you GET IT, that all Europeans go back to the same seven ladies and fourteen men, it's GREAT! (Yes, there were other folks around. These are just the lines that survived until today.)Now what? Well, the world looks a lot more unified.

I haven't gotten very far, but I'm extremely curious about this book. The author's theory is that our genetic makeup can be traced back to just seven women; all described in the book. Can't wait to find out more!

Relatable way to understand a complex scientific discipline. Brings some interesting moral and ethical debate!

I loved reading this book. Fascinating and written with humour and not too much jargon. Bryan Sykers does a brilliant job of bringing to life the thousands of ancestors that stand behind us and build up a picture of who we are. Favourite chaper is A sense of self. "DNA is the messanger which illuminates that connection, handed down from generation to generation, carried, literally, in the bodies of our ancestors. Each message traces a journey through time and space, a journey made by the long li [...]

My neighbor (an extremely smart Dr) recommended this book to me after learning I was interested in my ancestry & had done a DNA test. The concept of the book fascinated me ~ that all of us can trace our roots back to Seven Women who lived thousands and thousands of years ago. My neighbor said she was the daughter of "Jasmine" and she thought our "mothers" might be the same. Of course I jumped straight in, curiosity getting the better of me to find out if that was true or not. It didn't take [...]

The first three quarters of this book were packed full of genetics, human biology, anthropology, and even a little archeology and geography. If you ask me (and I guess you are), that is way too much scientific -ology. Unless you really like that stuff. I've heard there are people that do.Anyway, I liked the book because I appreciated the authors humor and I found the whole idea of tracing our genealogy back so far extremely interesting. I especially liked his analogy of all of his ancestors hold [...]

This book by the great pioneer of genetic archaeology and Oxford professor is at times rather dreadful. Many readers have been appalled by the fictional biographies of the individual women at the origin of the seven "maternal" clans to which 95% of Europe's population belonged at the end of the 20th century. I can hardly disagree. Syke's story of his research and his elucidation of the basics of mitochondrial DNA basis make for fascinating reading. Syke's yarn-spinning is as tedious as it is uni [...]

This was a really fascinating read. I knew only a very little bit about genetics and ancient human history going in, but Sykes writes in a way that feels entry-level understandable AND useful. In other words, I didn't feel like I was being talked down to but I did feel like I understood all of the important mechanisms described in the book. This is much easier said than done, I'm sure.The book is about the way a particular kind of DNA is used to trace the maternal lineage of people over the cour [...]

Interesting and thought-provoking read, but there were a few things that I found distracting. Early on, Sykes mentions some tension between himself and one of his co-workers. Later, he addresses events around this same person, who is involved in research and a paper that has devastating potential toward the research on mitochondrial DNA. Sykes' description of the events and final outcome come off as a "nyah nyah" thumbing of his nose at this person and ended up making me feel less sympathetic to [...]

Sykes traces the history of most Europeans back to 7 women through an examination of mitochondrial DNA. I love the science behind this book. An examination of the DNA shows how very related most people are. Would love to see this done for places like India where caste differences make people treat each other badly. Wouldn't it also be cool to take it even further and relate the Europeans back to say the Africans and show how related blacks and whites might be. Sykes shows how he may be related t [...]

Although this book was written in 2001, it is still a useful introduction to the study of human genetic ancestry for the layperson like me. Sykes is unique for having been at the forefront of major discoveries in genetics, such as sequencing the Iceman (Otzi)'s genome and finding modern descendants, helping to identify the bodies of most of the members of the massacred Russian royal family, and tracing 95% of Europeans' female ancestors to just seven women who lived between 45,000 and 10,000 yea [...]

Were Polynesian islands peopled by Asians or American Indians? Are the skeletons found at Iekaterinburg the ones of the Romanov family? Is Neanderthal really extincted or, does he have any descendants? What about the Europeans? Do they have Croc-Magnon for ancestor or, farmers coming from the Middle-East? Bryan Sykes tells us the discoveries made by genetics thanks to mitochondrial DNA, a bacteria passing from generation to generation through the maternal line only.Enthusiast, he is like a kid i [...]

This is the book that started a love affair with DNA! I've now read several books on tracing human orgins through DNA, but this was the first one and it's the one that really got me to thinking about who these women really were. I really had to stretch my mind back and realize that one of the seven daughters is my ancestor! It rekindled my desire to do genealogical/family history research, especially on my mother's side back through all the women. It's difficult, because women's identities becom [...]

I heard about this book in a geography class I took a few years ago, and I thought it did a good job explaining how matrilineal lineages can be traced using mitochondrial DNA. I do agree with several of the other reviews which state that there was a little too much of the book spent on European decent and the fictional narratives of the Seven Daughters, but other than that it was a great book. As much as I wanted to get back to the science of the genetic testing described in the first half of th [...]


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    Posted by:Bryan Sykes
    Published :2018-08-06T21:54:20+00:00