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As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health and Wealth [NOOK Book]

Overview

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life.

Genetics will be the dominant language of this century. Those who can “speak it” will acquire direct and deliberate control ...
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As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health and Wealth

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Overview

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life.

Genetics will be the dominant language of this century. Those who can “speak it” will acquire direct and deliberate control over all forms of life. But most countries and individuals remain illiterate in what is rapidly becoming the greatest single driver of the global economy.

Wealth will be more concentrated and those with knowledge to sell–both countries and individuals–will be the winners.

Consider what will happen when:
• Your genetic code can be digitally imprinted on an ID card and your insurance company and employer see that you are genetically disposed to, say, heart disease.
• Pharmaceutical products are developed so that you can eat genetically modified broccoli to protect yourself from cancer.
• Cloning will be as common as in vitro fertilization and scientists can influence the genetic design not only of other species but of your own children.
• Creating wealth no longer requires many hands. Lone individuals are giving birth to entire new industries that rapidly become bigger than the economies of most countries on earth, but create very few jobs.

As the Future Catches You resembles no other book. A typical page may contain just a few dozen words. But each seemingly discrete fact is like a chip in an intellectual mosaic that reveals its meaning and beauty only as you step back and see the big picture. Juan Enriquez is like the best teacher you ever had, one who helps you to see something in a new light and makes you say, “Now I get it!”

Juan Enriquez’s main point is that technology is not kind, it does not say “please,” but slams into existing systems and destroys them while creating new ones. Countries and individuals can either surf new and powerful waves of change–or get crushed trying to stop them.

The future is catching us all.

Let it catch you with your eyes wide open.

From the Hardcover edition.

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Juan Enriquez of Harvard Business School argues that the mapping of the complete human genome is an event equivalent to Columbus' arrival in the Americas: Every aspect of our lives, from employment to health care to our conception of personal identity, will be altered in some way by the incredible possibilities of genomics. As the Future Catches You, his meditation on these forthcoming changes, is not a straightforward narrative; instead, each page of the book presents an idea -- sometimes in just a few sentences, sometimes in several paragraphs -- that the reader is invited to ponder and connect with the rest of the book.
Roger Fisher
By far the best book I know to help us understand and cope with the powerful technologies that are about to change every aspect of our lives.
Hamilton O. Smith
With amazing insight and with a graphical, almost poetical style of writing, Enriquez describes how computers, genomics, and other new technologies are shaping our present and future.
Publishers Weekly
Harvard Business School research fellow Juan Enriquez has great enthusiasm for his subject and his audience in As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth. "I would like you and I to have a conversation," he writes. "There is space on each page for your own notes, thoughts," etc. Space indeed, and more: this consideration of scientific advancement, technological and economic trends and their effects offers graphically arresting pages complete with pictures, highlighted words, graphs, and large blank margins. Enriquez's hyperventilating presentation (how many ellipses can one author use?) might get in the way of the facts at times, but the facts about the ability of genetically modified bananas to vaccinate those who consume them against particular diseases, for example can be very interesting indeed. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609504468
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/6/2001
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,246,890
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Juan Enriquez is the director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, where he is building an interdisciplinary center focusing on how business will change as a result of the life sciences revolution. His article in Harvard Business Review, “Transforming Life, Transforming Business,” received a McKinsey Award, which recognizes the best articles published each year in HBR. Juan Enriquez has also published articles in Foreign Policy, Science, and Trends in Biotechnology and written op-eds for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Globe. Earlier in his career he was the CEO of Mexico City’s Urban Development Corporation and an outspoken advocate of the need to reform Mexico’s economic and political structure.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

MIXING APPLES, ORANGES, AND FLOPPY DISKS . . .

If it seems like your world has been topsy-turvy over the past few years . . .
Consider what's coming.

Your genetic code will be imprinted on an ID card . . .
For better and worse.

Medicines will be tailored to your genes and will help prevent specific diseases for which you may be at risk.
(But . . . your insurance company and your prospective employer may also find out that you are genetically disposed to, say, heart disease, or breast cancer, or Alzheimer's.)

Meanwhile, lone individuals are birthing not just companies but entire industries that rapidly become bigger than the economies of most countries.
But unlike growth industries of the past . . . cars and aerospace, for example . . . the industries that will dominate our future depend on just a few smart minds . . .
Not a lot of manpower . . .
So during a period of prosperity and economic growth . . .
Wealth is ever more mobile and concentrated.

You and your children are about to face a series of unprecedented moral, ethical, economic, and financial issues.

The choices you make will impact where you live, what you earn, what your grandchildren will look like, how long you live.

It all starts because we are mixing apples, oranges, and floppy disks.

Put an orange on your desk . . .
Next to a floppy disk or CD . . .
Although each seems very different today . . .
They are becoming one and the same.

Your computer runs on a code based on "1"s and "0"s.
If you change the order and number of these 1s and 0s . . .
By tapping the keyboard . . .
You capitalize a letter, change a sentence, send an e-mail, transmit a photograph or music.
The floppy disk is simply the container for these 1s and 0s.
But it is reading and rewriting the code inside that drives change.

As of 1995, we began to read the full gene sequence of . . .
Bacteria, insects, plants, animals, humans.
It is written in a four-letter code (A, T, C, G) . . .
If you change this code, just as if you change the code in a floppy disk or on a CD . . .
You change the message, the product, the outcome.

We are beginning to acquire...
Direct and deliberate control...
Over the evolution of all life forms...
On the planet...

Including ourselves.

The skin and pulp of the orange that sits on your desk . . .
Is just packaging . . .
What matters is the code contained in the seeds.
Each seed has a long string of gene data that looks like . . .
The seed guides growth, how a tree and its leaves develop . . .
The size, flavor, color, shape of fruits.
If you can read the code . . .
And rewrite it . . .
You can turn an orange into a vaccine, a contraceptive, a polyester.
Each of these things has already been done in corn.

Today, bananas and potatoes can vaccinate you against things like cholera, hepatitis, diarrhea.
You can harvest bulletproof fibers . . .
Grow medicines in tobacco.
And it's not just apples, oranges, and corn that are rapidly becoming different organisms.

Mosquitoes

are flying hypodermic needles.
They can infect you with malaria, dengue, and other awful things.
They do so by transferring a little bit of genetic code
through their saliva . . .
Into your bloodstream . . .
Which then reprograms part of the way your cells operate . . .
By changing your genetic code ever so slightly . . .
In ways that can make you very sick.
So why not engineer mosquito genes so that they have the
opposite effect?

If mosquito saliva contained antibodies . . .
Or if you made it hard for malaria to mutate inside a mosquito's body . . .
You could immunize people and animals . . .
By making sure they were bitten.
Because the language of genes (A, T, C, G) is the same
for all creatures . . .
You can mix species.
If you are an artist, the genes that make jellyfish fluoresce
at night . . .
Can be used to make a bunny glow under black light.
If you are an M.D., the same genes can be placed in monkeys
to serve as markers . . .
Which help identify cures for diseases like Alzheimer's
and cancer.

By reading and rewriting the gene codes of bacteria, plants,
and animals . . .
We start to turn cells, seeds, and animal embryos into the
equivalent of floppy disks . . .
Data sets that can be changed and rewritten to fulfill
specific tasks.
We start deliberately mixing and matching apples and oranges . . .
Species . . .
Plants and animals.

These discoveries may seem distant, abstract, more than a little scary today.
But they will change the way you think about the world . . .
Where you work . . .
What you invest in . . .
The choices your children make about life . . .
What war looks like.

Many are unprepared for . . .
The violence and suddenness with which . . .
New technologies change . . .

Lives . . .

Companies . . .

Countries . . .


Because they do not understand what these
technologies can do.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

I: Mixing Apples, Oranges, and Floppy Disks ..... 1
II: The 390:1 Gap ..... 14
III: The New Rich ... and the New Poor ..... 25
IV: Empires of the Mind ..... 46
V: Data Drives Empires ..... 60
VI: Genetics ... the Next Dominant Language ..... 72
VII: Genetics Is ... a Hockey Stick ..... 88
VIII: The Most Powerful Information System ..... 103
IX: Nano World ..... 126
X: Revolution ... in a Few ZIP Codes ..... 137
XI: Technology Is Not Kind ... It Does Not Say "Please" ..... 163
XII: Sleepless ... (and Angry) in Seattle ..... 175
XIII: High Tech ... High Pay ... High Mobility ... ..... 184
XIV: The Digital-Genomics Diaspora ..... 199
XV: Time Warp ..... 210
Postscript ..... 226
Notes ..... 229
Credits ..... 247
Index ..... 248
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2002

    AMAZING FACTS!

    this book has the most amazing facts about the world economy and technology possible! The way it is written makes it an easy read, it gives you the basic concepts on biotech and genetics, but at the same time it opens you the door to the future world.I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to survive what's about to come!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2002

    Blue Gene Future

    A unique book in style and content, it moves quickly with statistics on education, imports , exports, patents, immigration, research etc., and though it is positive in tone there is enough negative information to make the future look more than a little sad. The only unfortunate aspect, and this is common in many books about the future, is that it makes the future as described seem inevitable. As a librarian I feel that there are many potential readers for this book and hope that the book's readers feel energized towards action after reading it. It is a hard to put down book, so don't start it unless you have enough time to spare. As a balancing view point I would like to suggest 'The Future of Humanity' by educator/philosopher J.Krishnamurti and Physicist David Bohm. Don't miss 'As the Future Catches You' it may be the most important book you read this year!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2002

    Highly Recommended!

    If you read only one book about the looming genetics revolution, As the Future Catches You would be a pretty good pick. After laying a foundation with a basic introduction to DNA and the genetic sciences, Juan Enriquez takes the reader on a tour of the mystifying advances that are putting humans in greater control of their own evolutionary destiny. This book is designed as much to inspire questions as to answer them, and uses a variety of font styles and sizes and almost poetic prose to provoke the thoughtful involvement of the reader. We from getAbstract recommend this book to any reader who doesn¿t want to let the future catch him off guard.

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