Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's In Your DNA - A Book Review

It seems that every day in the media we read something about DNA research, and the medical advances in science in this venue. People talk about gene therapy, getting rid of hereditary diseases, and even prolonging life. This has been one of the greatest discoveries in human history, and we keep learning more and more every day. Watson and Crick deserved to win the Nobel Prize, and Craig Venter has done an incredible amount to move this science and technology forward. Okay so let's talk shall we?

You see, just the other day on October 25, 2012 there was an interesting article the Wall Street Journal titled; "DNA Switch Boosts Disease Fight,"Guatam Naik which discussed how "scientists have replace bits of defective DNA in a human egg with the equivalent DNA from a healthy egg, a technique that could prevent women from passing on several rare and potentially deadly disorders to their children." Now can you see what I'm talking about? And as I peruse the science news each and every day, I see articles like this constantly.

Maybe it's time that you started thinking about this, and reading up on the topic. If so, there is a book that I own that I can recommend to you, and it is one which sits on my biotech shelf in my own personal library. The name of the book is;

"Drawing the Map of Life - Inside the Human Genome Project" by Victor K. McElheny, Basic Book Publishing, New York, NY, 2010, 361 pages, ISBN: 978-0-465-04333-0.

Interestingly enough this author also wrote the book; "Watson and DNA" many years the prior. The book explains how the building blocks of life were discovered, how the scientists got started, and what an overwhelming task it was once they figured out what they were looking at. The task was daunting, and trying to scale up their efforts to sequence the DNA was extremely tough. The more they learn, the more they realize they didn't know, but each day they discovered more and more surprises.

Isn't it interesting that this has spawned an entire new sector of the biotech industry? This book explains the future relevance, and potential applications of DNA research. It appears that we are just scratching the surface as we speak. Indeed it's amazing how far they've come, but also how far they have to go.

Perhaps it's time that you learn more, so that you are not caught off guard by future discoveries and surprises as they hit the science news. This is something that all citizens should know, and your children should know as well. Wouldn't it be great if you could explain it to them? Please consider all this and think on it.