“A gifted and thoughtful writer, Metzl brings us to the frontiers of biology and technology, and reveals a world full of promise and peril.” — Siddhartha Mukherjee MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene
A groundbreaking exploration of genetic engineering and its impact on the future of our species from leading geopolitical expert and technology futurist, Jamie Metzl.
At the dawn of the genetics revolution, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. But as humanity starts retooling our own genetic code, the choices we make today will be the difference between realizing breathtaking advances in human well-being and descending into a dangerous and potentially deadly genetic arms race. Enter the laboratories where scientists are turning science fiction into reality.
In this captivating and thought-provoking nonfiction science book, Jamie Metzl delves into the ethical, scientific, political, and technological dimensions of genetic engineering, and shares how it will shape the course of human evolution.
• Cutting-edge insights into the field of genetic engineering and its implications for humanity's future
• Explores the transformative power of genetic technologies and their potential to reshape human life
• Examines the ethical considerations surrounding genetic engineering and the choices we face as a species
• Engaging narrative that delves into the scientific breakthroughs and real-world applications of genetic technologies
• Provides a balanced perspective on the promises and risks associated with genetic engineering
• Raises thought-provoking questions about the future of reproduction, human health, and our relationship with nature
Drawing on his extensive background in genetics, national security, and foreign policy, Metzl paints a vivid picture of a world where advancements in technology empower us to take control of our own evolution, but also cautions against the pitfalls and ethical dilemmas that could arise if not properly managed.
Hacking Darwin is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of science, technology, and humanity's future.
A species-wide dialogue about what it is to "be human" must start as soon as possible, writes Mezl (Genesis Code), a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and Clinton administration staffer, in this urgent treatise on genetic engineering. Metzl provides the necessary background to his discussion: in 2004, four clinics in China helped couples genetically analyze their embryos and thus optimize gene disorder free births, a process known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). By 2016, those clinics numbered 40, some operating "on a colossal scale" and establishing China as the leading country for carrying out this process. The next step, Metzl argues, is genetically altering embryos to "optimize" them further, such as by increasing intelligence or strength. While science-savvy readers are unlikely to find these details particularly revelatory, Metzl brings an unusual degree of urgency to his policy recommendations. To prevent "a never ending process of creating and rewriting the code of life" from getting out of hand, he recommends that humanity build a "global regulatory structure," like that governing nuclear energy. Reflecting his background in think tanks and government, rather than in science or science writing, Metzl's focus is squarely on the societal implications of his subject, not its technical nuts and bolts. The result is a highly readable compendium of next-gen advice for the implementation and management of next-gen science.)