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My Beautiful Genome: Exposing Our Genetic Future, One Quirk at a Time

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1851688333
ISBN-10: 1851688331
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Review Source: Publishers Weekly

Review Date: 6 June 2011

Review Content:A probing biological memoir... Refreshing [and] wonderfully poetic.

About the Author

Lone Frank is the author of The Neurotourist: Postcards from the Edge of Brain Science (ISBN 9781851687961). She holds a PhD in neurobiology and was previously a research scientist in the biotechnology industry. An award-winning science journalist and Danish TV presenter, she has written for such publications as Scientific American, Science, and Nature Biotechnology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851688331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851688333
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Armed with dry wit and an art for self depreciative analysis, Dr Frank embarks on a journey through the recent developments in human genetics. She fronts pioneers and personalities of genetic science, past and present, and cuts straight to the big issues in their field. These meetings, conducted through various media and in person, are always reported insightfully, usually humorously. She treats herself as the guinea pig, using different commercial and research assay and analysis techniques to test her current genetic wellbeing and future health, both physical and mental, and that of others including her putative progeny. As a starting point, she needs to honestly appraise herself, her dead parents and surviving relatives in order to focus her research.

As an example, Frank's meeting with psychiatric epidemiologist, Kenneth Kendler, is warmly described and none of the ambiguity of genetic and psychiatric research or their applications is avoided. But her reaction after the meeting, when events contrive to confront the impact of her genetic makeup on her life to date, is numbing. Frank acknowledges that many genetic insights are intuitive anyway, and may not require brain scans to discover, but she has the scans anyway. This thoroughness is the strength of the book. And it is only through this approach that Frank is equipped to comment on "the war between epidemiologists and genetic researchers", between individual processes and statistics. This approach, based on the assertion that there are ultimately no healthy or unhealthy genes, only evolutionary variation, enables Frank to tackle daunting topics such as the inheritability of schizophrenia and autism spectra phenomena objectively. These examples are all selected from one of the book's eight rich chapters.
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Format: Paperback
Personal genomics is not coming, it's here. But it's not so common that we can all get our DNA sequenced and analyzed and interpreted tomorrow. Lone Frank gives us a preview of the tests we'll all be having soon, and the questions those tests will raise about our health, identity, and history. The science is explained through personal stories and entertaining encounters with the researchers who are at the cutting edge of human genomics and its many implications.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book a fascinating and very easy read on a subject I know very little on. As a health professional i have a basic understanding of molecular genetics, but this book really opened my eyes up in to the commercial application of genetics and the link between genes and who we are, as well as the big knowledge gaps that are yet to be filled. I walked away feeling that it may be fun to get my genetic fortune-telling done. Frank narrates a scientific and sociological topic from her own experiments in getting her genome read and interviewing other people, in such a way that you can snuggle up on the couch with the book and feel like you are reading a fun novel.

Summary:

The first part of this book explores popular genetics-with genealogy now the most popular hobby in the USA, a market has grown for people tracing their heritage through genetic sequences. Commercial organisations have also grown where people pay to for a genome sequence to get risk factors for certain diseases and certain traits. However, how valid are these commercial products? There are problems with determining risk factors for diseases, as association studies these genetic markers are based on can be weak and don't account for the multifactorial nature of disease, familial markers are left out, a lot of diseases may be hereditary but the genetic marker hasn't yet been identified, and we are forever finding new disease markers that substantially change ones genetic risk. Genetic genealogy is also questionable. It looks at only the halotypes of one in a thousand distance ancestors, as mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome are the only parts of DNA that don't undergo recombination.
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Format: Paperback
A great story of how you can gain a completely new perspective of yourself based on knowledge of your code - I can highly recommend it

Great review in Financial Times
[...]

Science writer Lone Frank gets up close and personal with her genetic code
A decade or so after scientists triumphantly revealed a first draft of the human genome, the 3bn biochemical letters that make up our DNA, the script is turning out to be far harder to decipher - and therefore to use - than the enthusiasts led us to believe.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have never thought about having your genome done, this book will open your eyes in so many ways. This was a book club selection--I never would have picked it up on my own. So many interesting ideas, research and questions about this whole
area of genetics. A must read!!
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Having had my genes genotyped, Lone's similar search for meaning of it all was extremely well done. I highly recommend the book for those people interested in personal genetics. Genetic testing helps to personalize your future medical treatments and proactive approach to better health.
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