Human Genetic Engineering: A Guide for Activists, Skeptics, and the Very Perplexed

Human Genetic Engineering: A Guide for Activists, Skeptics, and the Very Perplexed

by Pete Shanks
     
 

The debate over human Genetic Engineering (GE) is about to go mainstream. Not as a one-day wonder about cloning or a theological disagreement about embryos, but as a major political issue, driven in part by a grassroots movement of opposition. Human Genetic Engineering is a highly readable and entertaining guide. It explains in accessible language for a popular

Overview


The debate over human Genetic Engineering (GE) is about to go mainstream. Not as a one-day wonder about cloning or a theological disagreement about embryos, but as a major political issue, driven in part by a grassroots movement of opposition. Human Genetic Engineering is a highly readable and entertaining guide. It explains in accessible language for a popular audience the essential questions that will arise in the future debates: What is human GE? Will it work? What perspectives should we remember? Who is doing what, and why?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shanks, a grassroots political activist, offers a primer not just on the modification of the human genome, but on all fronts of the biotechnology debate, from cloning to stem cells, gene therapy and the genetic engineering of food. Designed in handbook style, with bulleted lists of key ideas, bold-faced terms and cross-references sprinkling the page, the book includes only a teaspoonful of science, just enough to give a lay reader some idea of the vocabulary of biotech. Shanks is fairly accurate but overly dismissive of some promising avenues of research, such as gene therapy. And while he makes gestures toward representing both pro- and anti-biotech views, Shanks can't resist quoting others who call the proponents of cloning irrational or elitist. In the last two chapters, the gloves come off: Shanks wholeheartedly endorses the banning of cloning and many other cutting-edge technologies, patting himself on the back for working with some of the leaders of the opposition to biotechnology. With its emphasis on social justice issues, this fairly one-sided overview would more accurately be subtitled "A Guide to the Perplexed Progressive." (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Genetic engineering technologies can be envisioned along a continuum, ranging from what many might agree is acceptable (targeted drugs, genetic testing) to utterly unacceptable ("designer babies," new species). Grassroots political activist Shanks has compiled a copiously referenced text addressing several important, if often overlooked, points that speak to the heated debate surrounding genetic engineering, a science that the United States has yet to regulate. Lay readers will find lay answers to numerous questions:What is human GE? Will it work? Who is doing it, and why? Lending this topic even more volatility is the public's oversimplification of complex questions, wherein issues often come to be seen either as the newest, greatest thing or as "the most terrible prospect since Eve ate the apple." This book will appeal particularly to libraries with demand for such titles as Bill McKibben's Enough, Francis Fukuyama's Our Posthuman Future, or Jeremy Rifken's Biotech Century. It isn't the final word on these topics, and it won't resolve all the perplexities. For now, however, this new work should serve as a useful and informative addition to science collections.-Mary Chitty, Cambridge Healthtech, Newton Upper Falls, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560256953
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
05/28/2005
Pages:
327
Product dimensions:
7.34(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.91(d)

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