She Has Her Mother’s Laugh:
The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is a masterpiece–a career-best work from one of the world’s premier science writers, on a topic that literally touches every person on the planet.” — Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes and staff writer at The Atlantic

Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society–a force set to shape our future even more radically. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.

You can read an excerpt in the New York Times, and listen to an episode of the Science Vs podcast about one chapter of the book. 

What People Are Saying

“A sweeping, magisterial book that illuminates the very nature of who we are.”
—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon

“Zimmer is one of the best science journalists of our times, with a long history of setting the bar for beautiful, clear, and scholarly writing. He is true to form in this book…She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is more than a historical account of the field of genetics. It’s a treasure trove of curious facts, contextual tidbits, and up-to-date reports on the trials and tribulations of heredity told in a most entertaining way.”–Science

“A beguiling narrative…In She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, Zimmer has built a subtle, multifaceted and deep understanding of heredity, grounded in revelatory insights from genome sequencing. And he shows that we will need it to face our uncertain future.”Nature

“A gripping human story…Please read this book now.”
—Jennifer Doudna, University of California Berkeley, co-author of A Crack in Creation

“Makes the complex science of heredity read like a novel.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Sixth Extinction

“I loved this book.”
—Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University, and author of Behave

“A magnificent work…as engrossing as it is enlightening.”
Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“A thoroughly enchanting tour of big questions, oddball ideas, and dazzling accomplishments of researchers searching to explain, manipulate, and alter inheritance.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A totally impressive job all around.”—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh explains how our emerging understanding of genetics is touching almost every part of society, and will increasingly touch our lives.”
—Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit.