The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities

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Overview

ect, Philip Kitcher takes readers into the heart of the revolution in genetic research today and raises important philosophical questions about its impact on ethical, legal, and political issues, now and in the future.

"...explains current genetic research and surveys the likely contributions that will lead to the treatment of various diseases."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kitcher has written a searching, valuable guide to the immediate practical consequences and long-range implications of the new molecular genetics. The next decade, he predicts, will make possible hundreds, even thousands, of genetic tests to determine whether people carry genes that predispose them to various diseases or disabilities. He argues that the potential benefits of genetic testing must be carefully weighed against whether effective treatment exists. Stressing that gene replacement therapy is only one among many possible interventions, he foresees a patchwork of therapies, including dietary and environmental changes, to bring relief from hereditary disorders. A philosophy professor at UC San Diego, Kitcher believes that basic medical insurance should be available to everyone, yet he controversially suggests that insurers could demand higher premiums of those born with unlucky genes, provided that the difference in cost did not debar people from receiving coverage. He also wrestles thoughtfully with such issues as genetic screening of job applicants, whether the merciful abortion of a malformed fetus is morally justified and the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In the early 1990s, several books appeared discussing the promise and pitfalls of the human genome project, the international plan to map human DNA. Now, a second wave of titles makes it clear that the future has arrived. Two excellent examples are Jeff Lyon and Peter Gorner's Altered Fates (LJ 1/95) and this new book by Kitcher (The Advancement of Science, Oxford, 1993), a philosopher with a background in biology. The subject is genetic ethics. Is it proper to modify a person's genes for less than life-threatening medical reasons? Should people be tested routinely for genetic diseases during physical exams? As a precondition for employment? Or even, most troubling of all, prior to birth? Kitcher investigates these and other complex questions with a reasoned, pragmatic voice, but he does not eschew controversial topics-most notably, the abortion of severely malformed fetuses. He concludes that the nightmares of eugenics and genetic persecution could happen, but only if they are permitted by an unenlightened and uninvolved citizenry. Conversely, if intelligent choices are made, much human suffering could be eliminated. This is not the first, final, or definitive book on genetic ethics; it is, however, one that no future writers on the subject can ignore.-Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib.
Booknews
An introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms for problems from number theory, blending theory with practice and coverage of practical aspects of algorithmic implementations, with some 300 exercises and suggested solutions. For beginning graduate students to experts, assuming familiarity with groups, rings, fields, and Galois theory. This volume focuses on problems for which efficient solutions can be found. A forthcoming volume will address problems and applications for which efficient algorithms are not yet known. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684827056
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 0.89 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

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