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The Symphony of the Living World. How epigenetics is going to change your life (La symphonie du vivant. Comment l’épigénétique va changer votre vie)



Original Language: French | 240 pp. | March 2018

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic, and North American rights.

Rights sold: Spain (Ariel-Planeta, at auction), Italy (Neri Pozza, at auction), Brazil (Critica), Germany (Goldmann – Mosaïk)

Over 25,000 copies sold and 30,000 copies in print

Introduction and index in English available


Epigenetics, the science of how the environment influences the expression of our genes, has been the great revolution in biology of the last five years. This landmark book by a leading scientist introduces us to the cutting edge of a scientific revolution that is going to have a profound impact on the way we lead our lives.

The genes that make up our DNA can be compared to the notes on an orchestral score. Although the notes remain the same, the conductor and the orchestra can interpret the score according to their own sensibilities and produce an entirely original performance. Epigenetics is like a living symphony which we ourselves conduct, making us in a sense the co-creators of our health and well-being. In more scientific terms, epigenetics is the study of how the expression of our genes is modulated by our behaviour. These modulations are related to five interconnected facets of our daily lives: the food we eat, the exercise we take, our way of dealing with stress, the pleasure we take in what we do, and our social network of family and friends. All of these aspects of our lives can have an influence on the expression of our genes and so we are in a sense able to take control of that process. In other words, it is up to us to decide which symphony to play.

Joël de Rosnay is a French scientist and a former researcher and lecturer at MIT in biology. He is the current president of Biotics International, a consulting company specialising in the impact of new technologies on industry. He is the author of several best-selling popular science books, including The Symbiotic Man.