DNA Is Just One Key to Life

Lawrence L. Lapin

Twitter: @LarryLLapin

Some fast advancements are taking place in genetics and related disciplines. It has been only a few decades since DNA was determined the key to all life on our planet (and perhaps places beyond) and that it is defined by four amino acids arranged in long double-helical DNA molecules. Only a few years ago a DNA representing a human genome was first sequenced. Individual genes are still being mapped.

Scientists now find that higher lifeforms have not one genome type (each defined by a unique DNA molecule), but three others—all interacting and determining an individual’s characteristics.

Recently, geneticists identified one controller, called an epigenome, properties of which are still largely a mystery. This actor sets the timing of traditional gene activity, in which pieces of DNA are copied into RNA, from which a plant or animal’s complex proteins are manufactured.

Two other types of genetic operators shape us. One of these is biome, epitomized by the bacteria residing in the gut of higher animals. These allow the host to digest plants and bring forth nutrients essential to good life. Hundreds of bacteria species have been identified in playing that and other essential roles. Less is known about the fourth genetic component, called the virome, which involves interactions between the host (us) and various viruses we carry inside our cells. (Viruses get into cells, while bacteria don’t. The latter critters may also be affected their own viruses.)

I began my Adam’s Chronicles series by focusing on DNA—the conventional genome. In the over twenty years since my start, genetic science has changed a lot.  It has only been a few years since the timing of developmental episodes has been found so important to an individual life, in some cases trumping those chemical aspects we call genes.

For instance, chimpanzees and humans are believed to differ by just a few dozen traditional genes (key DNA segments). Some scientists believe that much of what distinguishes us from apes is due to the timing of things—all controlled by the respective epigenomes. We are still learning about how genetic switches are started and stopped. We know very little about what makes chimpanzees differ so much from humans.

Many of these issues are encountered in my books, especially in Adam’s Tiger and its sequel. No book can keep up-to-date with continual unfolding of the genetics state-of-the-art, though I have attempted to wrap my hands around problems of meddling with Nature and the ethical controversies so raised.

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Book III of Adam’s Chronicles moves 500 years into the future. Planet Earth is still recovering from a disastrous meteor impact. The centuries-long effort to bring back animals and plants—and mankind itself—is nearing its conclusion.

Humans make a small footprint in this renewed world, though ecological disaster is expected from explosive population growth. Changes are in the works, troubles are brewing, and Adam Boatwright worries about the future.

The long-lived geneticist vows to discourage mankind from again ruining the planet. He also takes on a new goal: to make life more robust while improving the platform for future evolution. In doing so, he would bring back animals driven to extinction by early humans, starting with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats.

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The Adam’s Chronicles Series

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Adam’s story is always brought up to date in fresh ways, so that books in this series may be read in any order.

The following book is the series prequel and may be read independently.


All of the above are available at Amazon as Kindle E-Books.

What Others Say About This Series

Awesome story of restoration of Earth—an epic novel, one that shall never be forgotten. Dr. Lapin is truly gifted as a story teller. … Powerful, fast page turning story. Highly recommend—Nancy of Utah, Amazon Reviewer.

Great book, it is the kind of book you can’t wait to read again—Sandra Potter, Amazon Reviewer.

I am fascinated by the quality of this book. … A wonderful blend of thrilling adventure, science fiction and romance. … It delivers on so many different levels. Well done—Dennis Waller, Top 500 Amazon Reviewer.

This story had every element … an exciting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. Abundance of well-illustrated scenes. … had me immersed from the beginning. The story flows … with ease, and the author shows exceptional skill when it comes to storytelling. … Twists and turns in this page turner … make you want to read it non-stop. … Highly recommended—Piaras, Amazon Reviewer.

Phenomenal series offers elements of the thriller, mystery, science fiction, and romance genres. Dr. Lapin’s novels are exciting, with wonderfully developed characters and situations—Jada Ryker, Top 1,000 Amazon Reviewer.

Mad scientist or brave hero? … A murder mystery, medical thriller, and science fiction novel all rolled into one. I recommend it highly—Diane Rapp, Amazon Reviewer.

A fast paced story so plausible that I had trouble figuring the line where science fact and science fiction resides. … That credibility made the debate about the desirability of immortality real instead of fantasy. … An entertaining read—Capt’n Bob, Amazon Reviewer.

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