New book explores the mystery of the genome, and how understanding its codes can better our lives
"Welcome to the Genome," that miraculously complete blueprint of you coiled tight as a spring in the nucleus of each cell of your body. If unspooled, the DNA from just one cell, while only a molecule in width, would stretch six feet in length. The information stored in its double helix structure could fill 142 Manhattan phone books. The study of genomics has already impacted so many areas of our lives, from the promises of gene therapy and personalized medicine to international trade disputes over genetically modified foods, to the religious questions raised by then President Bill Clinton's appraisal of the Human Genome Project as the learning of "the language in which God created life." There is little doubt that we are in the midst of the Genomics Revolution, but how do we make sense of it all?
Probing today's most cutting-edge science and its far-reaching implications, WELCOME TO THE GENOME: A USER'S GUIDE TO THE GENETIC PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE (Wiley; September 2004; Cloth; $29.95; 0-471-45331-5) explores the ongoing saga of our attempts to understand the mystery of the genome and how understanding its codes can better our lives. This fascinating book delves into the past discoveries that led to the sequencing of the human genome, presents genomics challenges facing today's scientists as well as society in general, and outlines future possibilities of the developing genome era. Social issues, particularly questions of ethics, receive special attention, covering an important area too often overshadowed by science and technology.
If the genome really is the book of life, then we have only just opened to the first of its many pages. Those who triumphantly claim DNA is destiny may have spoken too soon; it is far more likely that we cannot even imagine the full ends of the discoveries we have started to make. WELCOME TO THE GENOME: A USER'S GUIDE TO THE GENETIC PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE is an essential guide for anyone interested in better understanding and participating in the incredible explorations, discussions, and realizations of the Genomics Revolution.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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