Jacob's Ladder: The History of the Human Genome

Front Cover
Fourth Estate, 2004 - Human genetics - 272 pages
In DEEP TIME Henry Gee told us why the chicken came before the egg. In his new book, JACOB'S LADDER, he tells us the comprehensive answer to the simple question: How did I get here?When the human genome was unveiled on 12 February 2001 headlines were filled with announcements that we had found the genes which cause schizophrenia, homosexuality and more. The assumption was that the genome offered a blueprint for what made human beings: the reality is far more complex and significant. The true importance of our discovery of the engine of life is that it offers us the possibility of altering our evolutionary destiny. Biology, once a passive science of observation, now possesses the tools to create form from the formless. For the first time we have the opportunity to shape life; like the angels on Jacob's Ladder, we are poised on the brink of godlike powers. But as Gee powerfully argues, we must exercise these powers with caution and learn from the mistakes of the past. He traces the entertaining history of man's search for what brings form from the formless, revealing the extraordinary thinkers and often bizarre experiments that led to this epochal moment: from Aristotle's musings and

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JACOB'S LADDER: The History of the Human Genome

User Review  - Kirkus

A detailed history, not so much of the genome as of genetics itself.Nature science writer Gee begins with a description of how a fertilized human egg develops into a person. As everyone has observed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

This book was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was getting a description of the state of the art of genome science in 2004. What I actually got was a history of how we reached this state of the art in ... Read full review

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