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The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine
     

The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine

by Kevin Davies
 

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In 2000, President Bill Clinton signaled the completion of the Human Genome Project at a cost in excess of $2 billion. A decade later, the price for any of us to order our own personal genome sequence—a comprehensive map of the 3 billion letters in our DNA—is rapidly and inevitably dropping to just $1,000. Dozens of men and women—scientists,

Overview

In 2000, President Bill Clinton signaled the completion of the Human Genome Project at a cost in excess of $2 billion. A decade later, the price for any of us to order our own personal genome sequence—a comprehensive map of the 3 billion letters in our DNA—is rapidly and inevitably dropping to just $1,000. Dozens of men and women—scientists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and patients—have already been sequenced, pioneers in a bold new era of personalized genomic medicine. The $1,000 genome has long been considered the tipping point that would open the floodgates to this revolution.

Do you have gene variants associated with Alzheimer’s or diabetes, heart disease or cancer? Which drugs should you consider taking for various diseases, and at what dosage? In the years to come, doctors will likely be able to tackle all of these questions—and many more—by using a computer in their offices to call up your unique genome sequence, which will become as much a part of your medical record as your blood pressure. Indeed, many experts are advocating that all newborns have a complete genome analysis done so that preventive measures and preemptive medicine can begin early in life.

How has this astonishing achievement been accomplished? And what will it mean for our lives? To research the story of this unfolding revolution, critically acclaimed science writer Kevin Davies has spent the past few years traveling to the leading centers and interviewing the entrepreneurs and pioneers in the race to achieve the $1,000 genome. He vividly brings to life the extraordinary drama of this grand scientific achievement, revealing the masterful ingenuity that has transformed the process of decoding DNA and delivering the information it possesses to the public at large.

Davies also profiles the future of genomic medicine and thoughtfully explores the many pressing issues raised by the tidal wave of personal genetic information. Will your privacy be protected? Will you be pressured, by insurance companies or by your employer, to get your genome sequenced? What psychological toll might there be to discovering you are at risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer’s? And will the government or the medical establishment come between you and your genome?

One thing that is not in question is that we are moving swiftly into the personalized medicine era, and The $1,000 Genome is an essential guide to this brave new future.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Johnny Heller reads with fluency and fluidly." ---Library Journal Audio Review
Matt Ridley
&'grave;The great impact of a new technology – from cotton underwear to the jet to the computer – comes not when it is invented, but when it becomes cheap enough to be within the reach of everybody. Gene sequencing has now reached that point. With unrivalled knowledge of the people who made this possible, Kevin Davies eloquently explains how it came about, and hints at what will come next.’’
Library Journal
How is it that less than a decade after the first human genome sequencing project was completed, anyone will shortly be able to purchase a personal genomic sequence for just $1000? Molecular biologist Davies (Cracking the Genome) discusses the path of human genomics from government project to commercial product, touching on ethical issues, medical uses, and the psychological implications of learning one's DNA results. The fascinating and clearly presented information is only slightly marred by frequent, unnecessary restatements of the text. Two-time Audie Award winner Johnny Heller reads with fluency and fluidly, even when faced with polysyllabic technical terms. For anyone interested in modern science, especially medical or ethical issues. ["An important overview," read the review of the Free Pr: S. & S. hc, LJ 9/1/10.—Ed.]—I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416570189
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
09/07/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Johnny Heller reads with fluency and fluidly." —-Library Journal Audio Review

Meet the Author

Kevin Davies, Ph.D., is the author of The $1,000 Genome. His previous book Cracking the Genome was translated into 15 languages. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Bio•IT World, a trade magazine covering the role of technology in the life sciences. He was the founding editor of Nature Genetics, the world's leading genetics journal, which he headed for its first five years. He has also written for the Times (London), Boston Globe, New England Journal of Medicine, and New Scientist, among others. His first book, Breakthrough (co-authored with Michael White) told the story of the race for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene. Davies holds an M.A. in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D in molecular genetics from the University of London. He held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and Harvard Medical School before moving into science publishing as an editor with Nature magazine. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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