The Molecule Hunt: How Archaeologists Are Bringing the Past Back to Life

by Martin Jones | Science |
ISBN: 0140289763 Global Overview for this book
Registered by bigcurlyloz of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on 10/5/2006
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, October 05, 2006
"Molecular archaeology is widely regarded as the most innovative field within contemporary archaeological science. Archaeologists are no longer searching for the most obvious, durable evidence of the human past, but since the early 1990s have moved on to detecting something more fragile and less visible - they are looking for what they can find in the molecules of organic tissues, particularly ancient DNA. "The Molecule Hunt" offers an overview of this science, drawing on case studies and showing how dramatic developments in the tracing and decoding of DNA molecules have transformed archaeology." - amazon.co.uk synopsis

Journal Entry 2 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 09, 2006
I'm making this available as a ring as it is definitely a book that deserves to be enjoyed by other people.

Participants
bigcurlyloz
candy-is-dandy (UK - UK/anywhere surface)
Twynnie (UK - anywhere)
lane1088 (US - Intl?)
Cpetersky (US - surface Intl)
gypsysmom (Canada - anywhere)
Prilade (Bulgaria - Europe)<--- book is here!
birmingham-rose (UK - pass on in person to) *asked to be skipped*
juliako (UK - UK/anywhere)


How it works
- PM me to join and state your shipping preferences.
- When I have at least 5 people, I'll (probably) post the book to the first person.
- Please journal the book when it arrives and when you've sent it on.
- When you've read it, please PM the next person on the list for their address.
- Bear in mind other people want to read it, so don't put it at the bottom of your TBR pile (6 weeks is a reasonable timeframe imo)!
- The last person on the list is to send it back to me :-)

When I have enough participants I'll sort the order to suit as many people's postage preferences as possible.

Journal Entry 3 by wingcandy-is-dandywing from Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Thanks bigcurlyoz! Looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 4 by wingcandy-is-dandywing from Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Thursday, January 11, 2007
I haven't read a non-fiction book for a while and am not a scientist so it took a while to settle into this book. I can't quite get my head around how DNA or other molecular evidence is extracted from bones etc but I've learnt a lot of new words eg 'mitochondrial' and am fascinated as to how much information can be obtained by such microscopic residues and chemical fingerprints left in fossils, animal tissue, even what was cooked in a prehistoric pot.

Thanks for sharing this book bigcurlyoz. Once I have Twynnie's address it will be off on its way.

Journal Entry 5 by Twynnie from Royston, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 16, 2007
This arrived today - looks interesting! I'm in the middle of a ring book at the moment but I will start this one when I've finished it. Thank you bigcurlyloz for sharing and thanks to candy-is-dandy for passing it on to me...

Journal Entry 6 by Twynnie from Royston, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This was an interesting book - it required a lot of concentration but was worth it in the end! I found it easier to understand to know what they found out than the techniques they used to do it as I found it difficult to get my head round those. Also it was difficult to keep track of which scientist was discovering what in the first half of the book!

I was less interested in first parts about really ancient DNA than I was in the later parts about tracing human lineages form DNA found at archaeological sites. I also found the studies into ancient foods really fascinating - especially that they could find out what had been cooked in an ancient pot and how by testing for a few molecules. My parents were both archaeologists once upon a time and we used to have all sorts of bits of old pot in our house, I'm wondering what might have been on them now. (Although it probably wasn't much as they would have been from the 'bad old days' of archaeology, before the advances described in this book, and they would have been cleaned...)

The book is currently on it's way to lane1088

Journal Entry 7 by lane1088 from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Monday, February 05, 2007
Received in the mail today from Twynnie. I have one bookray in front of it so will start on it this coming weekend. Thanks you bigcurlyloz for starting the bookray.

Journal Entry 8 by lane1088 from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Monday, February 19, 2007
Just finished the book tonight. The book was kind of quick for me because I skimmed over the portions where he was describing a technique. Being a scientist by training and having actually done some of the molecular biology he described, it was an easy read for me. Although I will be curious to see how nonscientists rate his writing style. The writing was a bit dry but gave a pretty good historical background into molecular biology's background and its relationship to archeology. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already known about a lot of the groundbreaking events he talked about.

One point in particular that I did like was the story of how PCR came into fruition. It is actually ture. I met one of the graduate students who worked in the lab at that time he came up with the idea and I heard him talk about it once at a conference.

I'll be sending it off to Cpetersky sometime this week or maybe tomorrow if I can get off work on time. LOL!

Feb 20, 2007: Sent by Media Mail today. Hope you get it soon.

Journal Entry 9 by Cpetersky from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I got this in the mail when I got back from Vancouver BC. Thanks for including me in this bookring!

Journal Entry 10 by Cpetersky from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, April 22, 2007
It was an interesting book, but I forgot it was in a bookring, and I've now had it far too long. I need to contact gypsymom and send it on its way. If I had been smart, I would have sent it when I was in Canada this last week, and saved a few $.



Journal Entry 11 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, July 22, 2007
I had completely forgotten about this book but I'm glad it arrived now and not a few weeks from now when I'm on vacation. I'll try to get it read soon so I can get it in the mail before I go. (Cpetersky sent along another book with this one to apologize to me for keeping it for so long. There wasn't any need to do so but I'm never one to look a gift book in the mouth.)

Journal Entry 12 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, August 09, 2007
I''m almost finished this book and I hope to get it in the mail before we leave town tonight.

This was a fascinating book for me. When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on about archaeology but sort of left it behind when I started working for a living. I did actually volunteer one summer at a dig at the Forks (where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet in Winnipeg) and, although I didn''t find anything too interesting, some other people did find artifacts.

I especially found the chapter about food, especially wheat, interesting as I work in wheat research. My area of expertise is not molecular biology but I''m familiar with the techniques. DNA fingerprinting is used frequently to distinguish varieties.

I have come across three articles in newspapers during the week I''ve been reading this book that call into question some of the findings covered in this book. I''m including one "Europeans more Asian than African, researchers say" when I send this book on. I don''t know if I paid attention to these articles because I was reading this book or if there are just a lot of them now but obviously this is a hot topic. Thanks for sending it around bigcurlyoz. I''ve already recommended it to someone.

Journal Entry 13 by prilade from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Arrived here previous week. I've been away for a long holiday and it was a good surprise tfinding "The Molecules Hunt" in my mail. Looks interesting and I am inpatient to finish it. Thank you for sharing the book with us.

Journal Entry 14 by juliako from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, May 26, 2008
Just realised I never "caught" this book. Thank you very much for sending it on to me - ages ago! I have read a few chapters but finding it quite a challenging read - although very interesting. If you aren't waiting to read it I might tackle a bit more of it in bite-sizes, however, if you are waiting to read it, I'll drop it back into the post as I have already had it far too long.

Journal Entry 15 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Arrived home yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading it myself after all these journal entries!

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