• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (August 6, 2019)
Why are you attracted to a certain “type?” Why are you a morning person? Why do you vote the way you do? From a witty new voice in popular science comes a clever, life-changing look at what makes you you.
“I can’t believe I just said that.” “What possessed me to do that?” “What’s wrong with me?” We’re constantly seeking answers to these fundamental human questions, and now, science has the answers. The foods we enjoy, the people we love, the emotions we feel, and the beliefs we hold can all be traced back to our DNA, germs, and environment. This witty, colloquial book is popular science at its best, describing in everyday language how genetics, epigenetics, microbiology, and psychology work together to influence our personality and actions. Mixing cutting-edge research and relatable humor, Pleased to Meet Me is filled with fascinating insights that shine a light on who we really are–and how we might become our best selves.
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Have you ever wondered why you do some of the things you do? Or just simply why you are the way you are? With a deeper knowledge of our genetics and how our body and environments interact, Bill Sullivan explains who we are based on our genetics. This topic may not sound like everyone's cup of tea (you might find out why if you read the book!), however, the writing is easy to read and relatable. This is accessible genetics the way you wish your high school biology teacher would have taught things and is filled with pop-culture references and engaging language that will appeal to science buffs and curious minds alike.
Broken into ten sections, the reader is introduced to their Maker, Tastes, Appetite, Addictions, Moods, Demons, Match, Mind, Beliefs and Future. In Meet Your Maker, a primer to DNA, genetics and expression is given for those of us who may not remember the finer points of biology or need a brush up.
My favorite section was Meet Your Tastes, the writing really dives right in to describe how genes are responsible for your love or hatred of broccoli and your tastes in general. It was amazing to see how well genetics could describe my tastes and what I enjoy. I was definitely able to pinpoint some of the tasting genes that I do or do not have just from reading (I am definitely not a supertaster, but I do have a variation in my TRPV1 receptor).
Meet Your Moods was another very informative section for me. Giving insight to how we feel the way we feel, Pleased to Meet Me describes just how much influence our gut bacteria has on the way we feel and made me think about just how much control I have over how I feel.
More than anything, Pleased to Meet Me continuously emphasizes not to judge people based on factors that they may not be able to control- their weight, addictions, moods, temperament or romantic preference. These are all based on genetic factors that we can better understand and- in some cases help one another with. There is a wide future for genetic engineering and the impact it can have on humans, but what we do with these discoveries and innovations is up to us and what our gut bacteria wants us to do.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
BILL SULLIVAN is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he studies infectious disease and genetics. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and science communicator, Sullivan has been featured in a wide variety of outlets, including CNN, Scientific American, Cosmos magazines, PLOS SciComm, The Naked Scientists, and The Scientist.
Find out more about Sullivan at his website, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.