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"Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind." --President William Jefferson Clinton, speaking on the initial mapping of the human genome. The DNA sequence that comprises the human genome--the genetic blueprint found in each of our cells--is undoubtedly the greatest code ever to be broken. Completed at the dawn of a new millennium, the feat electrified both the scientific community and the general public with its tantalizing promise of new and better treatments for countless diseases, including Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's. Yet what is arguably the most important discovery of our time has also opened a Pandora's box of questions about who we are as humans and how the unique information stored in our genomes can and might be used, making it all the more important for everyone to understand the new science of genomics. In "The Curiosity Guide to the Human Genome, " Dr. John Quackenbush, a renowned scientist and professor, conducts a fascinating tour of the history and science behind the Human Genome Project and the technologies that are revolutionizing the practice of medicine today. With a clear and engaging narrative style, he demystifies the fundamental principles of genetics and molecular biology, including the astounding ways in which genes function, alone or together with other genes and the environment, to either sustain life or trigger disease. In addition, Dr. Quackenbush goes beyond medicine to examine how DNA-sequencing technology is changing how we think of ourselves as a species by providing new insights about our earliest ancestors and reconfirming our inextricable link to all life on earth.
Finally, he explores the legal and ethical questions surrounding such controversial topics as stem cell research, prenatal testing, forensics, and cloning, making this volume of "The" "Curiosity Guides "series an indispensable resource for navigating our brave new genomic world.
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