Here Is A Human Being
At the Dawn of Personal GenomicsBook - 2010
"Misha Angrist, who has a PhD in genetics and an MFA, brings us the first, inside story of the Personal Genome Project, its larger-than-life research subjects, as well as the political, social, and ethical issues that emerged throughout the study"--
Here is a Human Being delivers the first in-depth look at the Personal Genome Project—the effort to construct complete genomic maps of a specific human beings—written by one of the study’s ten human participants. Misha Angrist recounts the project’s fascinating nuances, including the larger-than-life personalities of the research subjects, the entrepreneurial scientists at the helm, the bewildered and overwhelmed physicians and regulators who negotiated for it, the fascinating technology it employed, and the political, social, ethical and familial issues it continues to raise. In the vein of James Shreeve’s The Genome War, Craig J. Ventner’s My Life Decoded, and Francis J. Collins’ The Language of Life, Angrist’s informed exploration of this cutting-edge science is a gripping look at the present and future of genomics.
The First In-Depth Look At Personal Genomics: Its Larger-Than-Life Research Subjects; Its Entrepreneurs And Do-It-Yourselfers; Its Technology Developers; The Bewildered And Overwhelmed Physicians And Regulators Who Must Negotiate It; And What It Means To Be A "Public Genome" In A World Where Privacy Is Already Under Siege
In 2007, Misha Angrist became the fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project, George Church's ambitious plan to sequence the entire genomic catalog: every participant's twenty thousandûplus genes and the rest of his or her 6 billion base pairs. Church hopes to better understand how genes influence our physical traits, from height and athletic ability to behavior and weight, and our medical conditions, from cancer and diabetes to obesity and male pattern baldness. Now Angrist reveals startling information about the experiment's participants and scientists; how the experiment was, is, and will be conducted; the discoveries and potential discoveries; and the profound implications of having an unfiltered view of our hardwired selves for us and for our children.
DNA technology has already changed our health care, the food we eat, and our criminal justice system. Unlocking the secrets of our genomes opens the door not only to helping us understand why we are the way we are and potentially fixing what ails us but also to many other concerns: What exactly will happen to this information? Will it become just another marketing tool? Can it help us understand our ancestry, or will it merely reinforce old ideas of race? Can personal genomics help fix the U.S. health care system?
Here Is a Human Being explores these complicated questions while documenting Angrist's own fascinating journeyùone that tens of thousands of us will soon make.
An insider's tour of personal genomics, key research and leading contributors by a fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project offers insight into the role of genes in physical traits and health, discussing such topics as the experiment's implications and controversies. 20,000 first printing.
Presents an inside story of the Personal Genome Project and its larger-than-life research subjects, as well as the political, social, and ethical issues that emerged throughout the study.