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Why did sex evolve? Why do we age with time? And why do the human heart and brain respond to chemical messages from the poppy plant and the bark of a willow tree? Acclaimed science and nature writer Jennifer Ackerman addresses these and other questions about human biology in her new book, Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity. It is Ackerman's position that the biggest story to come out of biology in the past decade was not the mapping of the human genome, but the discovery that there are many more similarities between humans and other species than previously understood. Ackerman will be in town for a reading and question-and-answer session this week. Come hear her explain why your boyfriend sometimes looks and acts like a dog, this Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m., at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. Call 828-1588 for details.

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