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Genetics professor Michelle Murphy loses her husband under mysterious circumstances and without warning, while their brilliant eight year old daughter Avalon, adopted in Kazakhstan, stubbornly believes she is a mutant.

As if this were not enough she soon finds herself thrown into the middle of a quickly thickening plot, where the legacy of Genghis Khan meets the hunt for FOXP5, a genetic transcription factor that could herald the dawn of new human species.

Initially caught helplessly between well-meaning fellow scientists, the government and more sinister agents, Michelle, with the help of a host of unlikely heroes, eventually takes control and finds the courage to confront the decision of whether to save human lives or humanity.

The scientific and technical aspects underlying the plot - in particular aspects of FOX proteins, genetic mutations, viruses and cancer as well as the relation between intelligence and cortical complexity - are introduced and discussed by the authors in an extensive non-technical appendix.

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