Genome

Genome

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by Jerry E. Bishop
     
 

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Told with the pacing of a great suspense novel, Genome tells the very real story of what could be the most ambitious scientific research project ever undertaken: the attempt to identify all the genes in the human body; estimated to number from 50,000 to 100,000.  See more details below

Overview

Told with the pacing of a great suspense novel, Genome tells the very real story of what could be the most ambitious scientific research project ever undertaken: the attempt to identify all the genes in the human body; estimated to number from 50,000 to 100,000.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The nucleus of every cell in our bodies contains 50,000-100,000 genes. In an international ``gene mapping'' effort, scientists are attempting to determine the precise location of each gene on specific chromosomes. Although much of this research has been conducted in only the last 10 years, already the genes for Huntington's disease, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis have been located, as well as ``susceptibility genes'' that predispose one to heart disease and, possibly, to alcoholism. Evidence links certain defective genes or the absence of other genes, to various cancers. The authors, both Wall Street Journal reporters, here offer an expert guided tour through the new world of genetic mapping, pausing to consider ethical dilemmas posed by genetic diagnosis of the unborn, privacy issues and potential use of individual genetic profiles by employers or insurance companies. First serial to Longevity and American Health. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The best way to evaluate this book is in comparison with Lois Wingerson's Mapping Our Genes ( LJ 6/1/90). The subject of both books is the government-funded program to map every gene in human DNA and the medical, ethical, and scientific questions that effort raises. Many of the stories and the persons are the same in both books, and both are creditable efforts to explain this fascinating project. Still, Wall Street Journal reporters Bishop and Waldholz are unafraid to describe more technical details, and their book is broader in scope, compellingly written, and ultimately the more satisfying. Wingerson focuses more on the test patients and their families, and this human approach will appeal to many. Both are recommended, but Genome is the first choice for most libraries, and the only one truly suited for academic libraries.-- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Lib., Bozeman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583487402
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/28/1999
Edition description:
REVISED
Pages:
388
Sales rank:
766,493
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

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Genome 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent survey of 2 decades of progress in genetics, 1970-1990. The updated part of the book is a 15 page Epilogue, hardly doing justice to the past explosive decade. Authors put great conflict and human interest into their stories, e.g., the couple, each carrying the recessive gene for cystic fibrosis, had each given it to both of two daughters before they realized they were playing genetic casino. They ¿realized their gamble only after they¿ve already lost the bet.¿ The questions of whether to offer a new gene test for a serious malady when no treatment was available were especially troubling to the researchers. Authors present a scary picture for the future role of medicine and physicians. Doctors will have to order genetic profiles to avoid malpractice. In pharmacogenetics, drug companies will take one¿s blood to develop personalized medicine to avoid side effects. The profile will allow them to peek into your health, your personality, your IQ potential and physical skills. With that genetic profile they can, with their pals the insurance companies, become tyrannical Big Brothers. Authors try to raise red flags about future genetic discrimination. They don¿t seem to realize how much of current discrimination is already based on genetics. Society has been coping with discrimination for centuries. They mention the probable arising of a biological underclass (perhaps like the caste of untouchables in India?) and see that a genetic profile could become a scarlet letter following one throughout one¿s life. Employers would get the data and make a group unemployable. But aren¿t there already laws protecting the handicapped? In the near future most everyone will be seen with defective genes and partially handicapped. Perhaps, however, Author¿s concern about a hereditary meritocracy is just genetic hocus-pocus. One¿s current illusions of choice and one¿s ignorance of the current genetic basis to behavior are likely to continue. The realization that one typo in the replication of a gene can cause a defect or disease is not likely to change one¿s current illusions of self control. The vast number of 3 billion interrelated nucleotides will more than likely always keep both science and lay people amazed at the complexity of human life.