The Book of Man: The Human Genome Project and the Quest to Discover Our Genetic Heritage

Front Cover
Scribner, 1995 - Gene mapping - 259 pages
Our destinies lie in our DNA. Compressed, at the moment of our conception, into tiny, gossamer bundles, this "most golden of molecules" defines each of us uniquely, for along its delicate, twisting strands, the alphabet of life is etched in chemicals that will determine whether we will be short or tall; healthy or sickly; intelligent or slow; blond and blue-eyed or dark, with smoldering brown eyes. Unravelling the complex machinery involved in this process has been one of modern science's most exciting achievements, a story of inspiration and dedication (and occasional lost opportunities) that began in the nineteenth century with Mendel's discovery of the laws of inheritance. It has progressed today to the creation of biology's most ambitious undertaking: the Human Genome Project sometimes known as The Book of Man. This mighty enterprise, biology's equivalent of the Apollo lunar-landing program, is audacious in scope. It aims to uncover all the 100,000 genes that control human development and to detail the DNA alphabet of each. This knowledge is already revolutionizing our fundamental self-awareness. The entire molecular process of cancer causation is now being laid out before us, while the genes responsible for inherited illnesses, immune disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes), psychiatric disorders, and other ailments are being exposed. And that is not all. We are learning much about our own history as a brash new species that poured out of Africa to conquer the world 100,000 years ago. Forensic science, the high-tech hunt for criminals, is also being transformed. In the process, however, this biological progress is raising vital questions about the ethical and moralconsequences of these radical genetic breakthroughs. This, then is The Book of Man, the story of mankind's greatest voyage of self-discovery, a history of the fledgling science that will soon change all of our lives.

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All in the Family
The Dice of Life
Lifes Mother Tongue

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