Here Is a Human Being At the Dawn of Personal Genomics
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In April 2007, Misha Angrist became the fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project, George Church's ambitious plan to sequence the entire genomic catalogue-every participant's 20,000+ genes and the rest of his/her six billion base pairs. The first 10 volunteers would be expected to bear plenty of public scrutiny, more so when they made this highly personal information available to the public. Church hopes to better understand how genes influence our physical traits-from height and athletic ability to behavior and weight-and our medical conditions-from cancer and diabetes to obesity and male pattern baldness. In Here Is a Human Being, Angrist reveals startling information about the experiment's participants and scientists, how it was, is, and will be conducted, the discoveries and potential discoveries, how the rest of the world is embracing and/or resisting personal genomics, and the profound implications of having an unfiltered view of our hardwired selves for us and for our children. DNA technology has already changed our health care, the food we eat, and our criminal justice system-and we are only in the first inning. Unlocking the secrets of our genome not only opens the door to help us understand why we are the way we are and potentially help to fix what ails us, but to many difficult questions as well. What exactly will happen to this information? Will it become just another marketing tool? Can it help us understand our ancestry or will it merely reinforce old ideas of race? Is the genome just hype? Can personal genomics help fix the U.S. healthcare system? Here Is a Human Being explores these complicated questions, while documenting Angrist's own fascinating, exciting, nerve-wracking and deeply personal journey-one that tens of thousands of us will soon make.
List price: $29.99
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 11/2/2010
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
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