An Immense New Power to Heal: The Promise of Personalized Medicineby Lee Gutkind, Pagan Kennedy
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Is personalized medicine—what some scientists call genetic medicine—a pipe dream or a panacea? Francis Collins, current director of the National Institutes of Health and director of the Human Genome Project, considers this new era “the greatest revolution since Leonardo,” while Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell compares personalized medicine to a train that has not yet left the station—“a very slow train with a very long way to go . . . before we arrive at our destination.”
There is no denying that new technology, which has triggered an explosion of scientific information, is ushering in a revolution in medicine—for specialists, general practitioners and the public. Anyone can spit in a cup and, for a small fee, learn about his or her individual genetic make-up. But how useful is this information, really, to us or to our doctors? What’s more, how much do we truly want to know—and have others know—about our possible destiny? There is more than we can imagine at stake.
In An Immense New Power to Heal, authors Lee Gutkind and Pagan Kennedy delve into the personal side of personalized medicine and offer the physician’s perspective and the patient’s experience through intimate narratives and case studies. They also offer an intriguing background of the personalized medicine movement including the fascinating personalities of the key scientists involved as well as a glimpse into the in-fighting that accompanies any race for a scientific breakthrough. The result is a highly engaging, lively, and provocative discussion about this revolution in health care, and most importantly, what it really means for patients now and in the future.
Critical Praise for Almost Human: Making Robots Think and Many Sleepless Nights by Lee Gutkind:
"Gutkind's reporting captures the individual quirks of the scientists...it gives a solid sense of what's going on in the field."—Publishers Weekly
“A wild book…[A] crazy suspense story . . . fascinating stuff.”—Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show
“Dramatic, moving account of transplantation patients and the technology involved.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating look at the emotional and physical complexities of a harrowing process.”—Booklist
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Meet the Author
Lee Gutkind has been exploring the world of medicine, technology and science through writing for more than 25 years and is the author of more than 20 books. Gutkind is founder and editor of the popular journal Creative Nonfiction the first and largest literary journal to publish nonfiction exclusively. Vanity Fair proclaimed Gutkind “the Godfather” behind the creative nonfiction movement, and Harper’s noted that he is “the leading figure behind the creative nonfiction movement.” Gutkind is Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University.
Pagan Kennedy is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books, including The First Man-Made Man, which earned a Booklist starred review, and The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and other True Stories. Her biography Black Livingston was a New York Times Notable Book in 2002. She is a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT and was named the 2010/2011 Creative Nonfiction grant winner by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has taught fiction and nonfiction writing at Dartmouth College, the Warren Wilson MFA program, Boston College and Johns Hopkins.
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