Since the conclusion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, scientists have been racing toward a grand goal: offering individuals a decoding of their complete genetic makeup for just $1,000. As Kevin Davies reveals in this exquisitely reported account, the $1,000 genome will be a reality by 2011 and it will usher in a whole new era of personalized, genomic medicine.
Capable of presenting much more advanced information than the current crop of cheek-swab services, the $1,000 complete genome raises some extraordinary possibilities. We will be able to learn if we have genes that predispose us to a host of diseases and to take a wide range of preventative measures. Drug companies may be able to create versions of drugs tailored specifically to our individual DNA. But we may also face the psychological burden of learning that we have the gene for an incurable disease, such as Parkinson's.
Acclaimed author Kevin Davies introduces the pioneers of this medical revolution and probes deeply into both the medical benefits and ethical issues of personal genetic testing, also exploring the psychological complexities of learning one's DNA results, based on both his own experience of being tested and that of a number of others. The $1,000 Genome is an indispensable guide to the new era of personalized medicine.
©2010 Ken Davies (P)2010 Tantor
Letting the rest of the world go by
The author lays out the recent history of personal genomic testing and what to currently expect. Most of what is learned by testing won't be actionable, some of the rest will be to eat more broccoli, and the remainder will be told to eat even more broccoli and to exercise. We already know that even before taking the test.
The author does cover the material very well, and most importantly makes the topic relevant to the reader. The topic is exciting more because of what could be than what is. The reader does something which I liked, when quoting a Brit or Irishman or Italian he'd give them a strong appropriate accent and I would always realize the material was being quoted. Makes listening easier.
It's not a science book, but it does cover the business end and what to currently expect from getting tested.
Very interesting account of the history and current state of personal genomics. Kevin Davies does an excellent job of describing the promise of personal genomics while tempering the hype the often surrounds this field with realistic presentations of the technological and ethical hurdles that still must be overcome before the promise of genomics becomes fully realized.
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