Download Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist PDF

By Misha Angrist

In 2007, Misha Angrist turned the fourth topic within the own Genome venture, George Church’s bold plan to series the full genomic catalog: each participant’s twenty thousand–plus genes and the remainder of his or her six billion base pairs. Unlocking the secrets and techniques of our genomes opens the door to figuring out why we're the means we're and probably solving what ails us, from melanoma and diabetes to weight problems and male development baldness. yet what precisely will ensue to this knowledge? Will it's a boon or simply one other advertising instrument?

Here Is a Human Being is the 1st in-depth examine own genomics—its larger-than-life examine matters; its marketers and do-it-yourselfers; its expertise builders; and the bewildered physicians and regulators who needs to negotiate with it—and what it capability to be a “public genome” in a global the place privateness is already less than siege.

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What was going to happen to my brother’s new son and my parents’ last grandchild? I hadn’t a clue. I immediately became the Expert, though I remembered little. I was as flummoxed as my family was, but out of love, hubris, and a desire to be a hero, I did not betray my ignorance. I took my thesis off the shelf for the first time in years. I sent emails and made phone calls to people who still “did” Hirschsprung’s. I reread articles about pediatric surgery techniques, the details of which I’d once known cold.

Some people look at a person’s face and think they can tell everything about his past, present and future,” he said. “That’s not true, of course. But when you ask who you are, a huge fraction is what your face is. ”45 Giving broad access can have practical benefits, too. One of George’s favorite stories—recounted on his website, naturally46—is from 2004. ” He had looked at George’s personal medical records Web page and seen that his total cholesterol was 288 mg/dL (the normal level is less than 200).

Hardly. Stalking him is now an utterly trivial exercise on par with checking the weather forecast: He has an application on his BlackBerry that tracks him via GPS and produces Google maps of his whereabouts. Anyone with a username and password can locate him anywhere on the planet. “I think somebody has to do these experiments,” he said of the Personal Genome Project. ”5 Halamka was probably destined to become Subject Number Two: like him, the PGP was another Harvard-based bit of self-experimentation and potential compromises in personal privacy.

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