Through self-experimentation and posting his genome online, Carl Zimmer learns what heredity really means — and why DNA and lineage are not one and the same

Cathryn J. Prince in The Times of Israel:

Born to an Ashkenazi Jewish father and mother of Irish and German descent, science and heredity has long fascinated Carl Zimmer.

But when his wife became pregnant with their first child, heredity became a matter of urgency. He wondered what his child would inherit from him and how that inheritance would get passed down to future generations. Being a dedicated science journalist, Zimmer embarked on a quest to decipher the meaning of heredity.

To properly tell the story he knew he needed to delve into one person’s genome. And whose better than his own?

After he had it sequenced, he showed the results to several researchers and had them interpret the findings. He discovered he carries genes for two serious diseases and that he has many identical genes with a typical Nigerian and Chinese person. But perhaps most importantly, Zimmer learned heredity isn’t what we think it is.

More here.