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Life Script: How the Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine and Enhance Your Health

2 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074321739X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743217392
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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By M. A. Plus on October 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wade, who writes science articles for the New York Times, has documented in this book the personalities and the sequence of events leading up to the publication of the first draft of the Human Genome in June of 2000. No doubt the real history behind this project will be more thoroughly explored by historians some day, and Wade's compedium of journalism will count as a major contribution to this scholarly effort.
He doesn't quite understand the real implications of applied genomics technology, however. While he does seem personally intrigued by the prospect of regenerative medicine, radical rejuvenation and life extension made possible by applied genomics (in other words, he's not impressed by Leon R. Kass's argument for the "wisdom of repugnance" regarding human transformation), at the same time he's intimidated by psychological scarecrows about the allegedly bad social consequences this scenario could cause. Our social institutions are currently organized around people dying "on schedule," as horrific as that sounds, so Wade wonders what would happen if people were to live well past 100 in good physical and cognitive health.
For one thing, considering that people's social skills tend to improve with age and experience, a world run by "ultramature" people couldn't be run any worse than the way our world is now. Life-extended entrepreneurs could continue to create new businesses, wealth and jobs (especially important considering that honest financial success is not a zero-sum situation). Life-extended statesmen could resolve conflicts and finally create a decent international political order. Life-extended environmentalists could study changes in the biosphere over longer intervals and warn of potential dangers. Etc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a bad book, but the title and subtitle are wrong. It starts with the obligatory 2 chapters on Watson, Hazeltine, and Venter that anyone can read on any number of web sites, so it really doesn't get going until page 90, and then the last two chapters are the obligatory angel/devil arguments of morality that almost anyone can write at this point. What's left in the middle has problems with repetition and lack of focus. There are one or two really interesting factoids in this book, but zero insight and no real value. (...)
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