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on March 5, 2009
I just got a copy of David Ewing Duncan's new book, and it's amazing. It
makes sense of some of the new science that I've been reading about --
genetics and brain scans and the like -- and explains it from the
perspective of a real person taking these tests. The environment parts of
the book are riveting -- and a bit frightening: that we are being exposed to
everything from mercury to pesticides, and that our genes might give us some
protection, or not, from these chemicals.

In the end, it's a great read, well written with very human stories. I
highly recommend this book if you want to see what the future holds for
medical testing.
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on March 13, 2009
In David Ewing Duncan's new book, "The Experimental Man", he takes us on an adventure through his own body that a mere decade ago would have been seen as science fiction, not science fact. A modern "Fantastic Voyage", we travel with David through a variety of tests that explores who we are and where are going.

Most people by now have heard an advertisement for fully body scans, genetic testing for markers, or genetic testing for family lineage. David Ewing Duncan has obviously decided to take this not just a few steps further, but leagues in the future-present and doing what many would be fearful of doing, taking the world along for the ride.

Not just a book of medical tests, medical capabilities, or the effects of the world on our bodies, this is a masterly crafted story of one man's odyssey of medically-enhanced self-discovery.

If you a wondering "Should I buy this or not?" stop hesitating. David Ewing Duncan's book is a must read and belongs on everyone's book shelf and will soon be the topic of discussion at every water cooler and social gathering.
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on May 31, 2010
This could have been a much shorter book. What do you learn by acquiring lots of data from many different modalities on a healthy individual? Not much. Certainly very little that is actionable beyond things that are well known -- he should watch his weight and his diet. The most insightful point in the book pertains to the author's brother who led an incredibly active life before being sidelined by a debilitating disease. If his parents had known through, say, genetic testing, that he would break lots of bones, would they have taken away the activities that gave him the most pleasure in life? For the most part, this book is a pretty good advertisement for ignorance being bliss.
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on March 9, 2009
David Ewing Duncan must be the most thoroughly tested human on this planet.He tells his story in such an entertaining and informative manner, that you forget how much science is involved in the explanations.He allows his body to be used for all the tests that focus on genes, enviroment, brain and body.He is genius in his ability to show the interplay of, genes and environment.His description of his brother is sensitive and exhibits a deep bond between the two. I highly recommend this book. A fascinating read.
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on May 17, 2009
Is Gattaca around the bend? How long until we're all living to be 125 years old? Can a 50 year old have the brain of a 25 year old? Will neurologists and scientists studying chemicals in the environment and geneticists all be able to play nicely together to create my personalized health profile, which will predict which diseases and problems I'll be at risk for?

David Duncan explores all of these questions and more-- simplifying a lot of science and testing and theory to accessible language, making for a fascinating read. The answers aren't always conclusive-- in fact, they're quite often not-- but the questions and potential implications are a good starting point nonetheless.
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on June 25, 2009
The perspective of the human at a genomic level based on data from contemporary analysis began with sequenced DNA clues to health. Then the interaction with environmental toxins at a cellular level was considered. The progression led to a consideration of the brain and mental states. There was an emphasis on the not-yet-there aspect of the techniques and their application to these various levels, particularly at a single individual level. The author is a good writer. Yet, some areas of the book were dull reading because of the terse technical information. All in all a good read.
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on May 4, 2009
David Duncan has traveled all over the world in the pursuit of learning about the toxins in his own body. He brings a reporters keen eye to the scientific world of medical testing and helps the non-scientific reader understand what it all means.

If you're curious what science can tell us about the human body, both the good and the bad, and you want read a first-rate reporter's personal journey to understanding what makes his own body tick, this is the book for you.
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on September 12, 2009
Excellent book that mixes intelligent story telling that offers a layman's peek into the future world of personalized and genomic medicine. The author brings a great human element to the complex molecular world of the human body. I also like the excellent website that accompanies the book, which brings a participatory element to the Experimental Man experience.
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on December 7, 2014
Great read. Note that the information about Resveratrol mentions SRT501, which was pulled by the manufacturer during clinical trials after the book was published. However, as a supplement Resveratrol was worth every penny. The book helps set the stage for a lot of the studies that have been done since, which have proved how polluted our bodies are, and how we are foolish to believe that they can clear out all of the toxins they encounter. So trying to encounter less is the wise sustainable choice. There is a website that will evaluate genomic data, like that gathered from a 23andMe SNP sequencing ($99) at It requires a small donation ($5+) to have them do an analysis. Remember if you find anything funky, don't take it to heart, until after you've discussed it with your family Doctor, or a genetics counselor. My Genetics showed multiple variants for Adult Onset Diabetes (type 2). Getting blood tests, which showed it was true, was a real heads up. So I was able to make changes in my diet and supplement to bring my blood glucose level down to within normal range.
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on August 27, 2012
This book takes you thru the authros journey of obtaining and understanding many different medical tests-mostly the newer genetic tests. In this regard, it provides a lot of information about what tests are available and what to expect from them. Nonetheless this book is tediously long and doesnt get to make many points other then the authors life was little changes despite the many tests he took. In addition, this book offer little guidance for people seeking some of these newer tests. I also wasnt crazy by the lack of orgnaization of the material. The author should have shortened the book and focused more on helping others for it reads almost like a travelogue thru a bunch of new and unusual medical tests.
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