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

Lone Frank. Oneworld (NBN, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-85168-833-3
As we enter an environment in which many of us will have easy access to the structure of our genome, ethical and scientific questions abound. Frank (Neurotourist: Postcards from the Edge of Brain Science), a science journalist with a doctorate in neurobiology, explores many of these issues in a probing biological memoir that approaches some familiar territory in a refreshing way. On the personal level, she shares her angst as she delves into her genetic composition in an attempt to understand the depression that has afflicted her family for generations. On a broader level, via interviews with leaders in the field, she discusses the ethics of the direct-to-consumer genetic information business and the complex relationship between genes and environment. Frank is especially good in constantly questioning how much our genes do, and do not, influence who we are. What is clear is that access to information is now far greater than a robust understanding of the implications of that information. Frank comes to a wonderfully poetic conclusion about how to balance all of this in her life: "I am what I do with this beautiful information that has flowed through millions of years through billions of organisms and has, now, finally been entrusted to me." (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Ebook - 181 pages - 978-1-85168-864-7
Paperback - 313 pages - 978-1-85168-914-9
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