Navigation Links
Evil genes made me do it

While there have been numerous medical studies investigating the physiological and biochemical basis for behavioral disorders such as antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, there have been virtually no comprehensive studies aimed at providing a physiological explanation of malignant narcissisma term that characterizes individuals who exhibit malevolent behavior but are still able to function effectively in society.

Inspired both by the dearth of scientific literature on the subject and by her sisters Machiavellian personality, Barbara Oakley, Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Oakland University in Michigan, set out to conduct an investigation of the physiology of this particular disorder and the impact it has had on human society. The result is "Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mothers Boyfriend" (Prometheus Books $28.95), which Harvard professor Steven Pinker praises as a fascinating scientific and personal exploration of the roots of evil, filled with human insight and telling detail.

"Evil Genes" is the first book to tie together the cutting edge neuroscientific and genetic results that explain human evil, showing that some deceitful, manipulative, and even sadistic behavior appears to be programmed genetically. Unlike other popular books about human evil, "Evil Genes" goes far beyond explaining psychopathic behavior using old-fashioned psychological theories or religious dogma. Instead, it centers on what neuroscience and genetics are revealing about not only psychopathy, but also the more subtly devious behavior of seemingly ordinary people. Oakley follows clues from the diary of her late sisterwho actually did steal her mothers boyfriendand takes the reader inside the heads of malevolent people you know, perhaps all too well, but could never understanduntil now.

Starting with psychology as a frame of reference, Oakley uses cutting-edge images of the working brain to provide startling support for the idea that evil people act the way they do mainly as the result of certain dysfunctions, some of which have a genetic basis. But there are unexpected fringe benefits to "Evil Genes." We may not like thembut we literally cant live without them. The recent dramatic findings presented in "Evil Genes" illuminate not only the eerily similar behavior of dictators far afield, such as Hitler, Mao, and Milosevic, but aspects of politics at home, as well as business, religion, and everyday life. As Terrance Deacon, Professor of Biological Anthropology and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, says, shining this light on some of the most problematic figures of our erachallenges our assumptions about the roots of terrorism, genocide, crime, corruptionand even the sinister sides of politics, business, and religion.

In fact, history has been shaped by the strange confluence of genes and environment that science is just now beginning to understand. Oakley links the latest findings of molecular research to a wide array of seemingly unrelated historical and current phenomena, from the harems of the Ottomans and the chummy jokes of Uncle Joe Stalin, to the remarkable memory of investor Warren Buffett.

William A. Wulf, President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering, says, Oakley deftly moves through psychology, functional brain imagery, and molecular biology to weave a compelling and provocative case for a genetic base for evil. 'Scientific non-fiction' and 'page turner' arent two phrases Id expect in the same sentence, but for the remarkable "Evil Genes", they fit.

"Evil Genes" is a tour-de-force of popular science writing that brilliantly melds scientific research with intriguing family history and puts both a human and scientific face to evil.

Barbara Oakley, PhD, a female Indiana Jones, is one of the few women to hold a doctorate in systems engineering. She chronicled her adventures on Soviet fishing boats in the Bering Sea in "Hair of the Dog: Tales From Aboard a Russian Trawler." She also served as a radio operator in Antarctica and rose from private to captain in the U.S. Army. Now an associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, Oakley is a recent vice president of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.

Contact: Jill Maxick
Prometheus Books

Related biology news :

1. Genes In The Interferon System Important In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
2. Newly-discovered class of genes determines ?and restricts ?stem cell fate
3. Inexpensive, mass-produced genes core of synthetic biology advances at UH
4. Protein Packages Found To Activate Genes; May Be What Regulates Development And Disease
5. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
6. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Scientists document complex genomic events leading to the birth of new genes
9. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
10. Genrate: a generative model that finds and scores new genes and exons in genomic microarray data
11. Advances in the characterisation of the oyster mushroom genes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/16/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov 16, 2015 ... leading developer of human interface solutions, today announced ... new Synaptics TouchView ™ touch controller and ... the architectural revolution of smartphones. These new TDDI ... and include TD4100 (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will ... Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... to view live demonstrations of iMedNet , ... how iMedNet has been able to deliver time ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. ... interface solutions, today announced broader entry into the automotive ... solutions that match the pace of consumer electronics human ... biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive industry and ... Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, ... spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but not limited to, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Accutest Research Laboratories, ... Contract Research Organization (CRO), has formed ... Cancer Center - Temple Health for ... ,     (Photo: ) , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes that automating ... and quality in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, ... Automation minimizes manual errors such as mislabeling or ... Further, it plays a vital role in blood ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2 nouvelles études permettent d , identifier ... souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque dentaire des ... Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle voie ... l,un des problèmes de santé les plus fréquemm ... --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: