An “invaluable [and] highly readable” account of the quest to map our DNA, the blueprint for life—and what it means for our future ( The Philadelphia Inquirer).
Genome tells the story of the most ambitious scientific adventure of our time. By gradually isolating and identifying all the genes in the human body—the blueprint for life—scientists are closing in on the ability to effectively treat and prevent nearly every disease that strikes man, from muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and cancer to heart ailments, alcoholism, and even mental illness.
Such discoveries will change the course of human life. At the same time, they raise profound ethical questions that have tremendous implications: Can insurance companies demand genetic tests to determine who poses a health risk? Should parents be able to choose their baby’s sex or eye color? Will employers screen out potential employees who are genetically susceptible to occupational health problems?
An exciting true tale of discovery that is revolutionizing our world, Genome helps us understand our future.
The nucleus of every cell in our bodies contains 50,000-100,000 genes. In an international ``gene mapping'' effort, scientists are attempting to determine the precise location of each gene on specific chromosomes. Although much of this research has been conducted in only the last 10 years, already the genes for Huntington's disease, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis have been located, as well as ``susceptibility genes'' that predispose one to heart disease and, possibly, to alcoholism. Evidence links certain defective genes or the absence of other genes, to various cancers. The authors, both Wall Street Journal reporters, here offer an expert guided tour through the new world of genetic mapping, pausing to consider ethical dilemmas posed by genetic diagnosis of the unborn, privacy issues and potential use of individual genetic profiles by employers or insurance companies. First serial to Longevity and American Health.