This listenable overview covers the rise of medical genetics through the past century, and the eugenic impulses it has inspired. Nicholas Gillham reviews the linkages between genes and disease, ethnic groups' differential susceptibility to genetic traits and disorders, personalized medicine, and crucial social and ethical issues arising from the field's progress. Includes:
How genetic diseases arise and why some ethnic groups are more susceptible to specific disorders
How scientists are trying to identify the genetic factors underlying multifaceted conditions like diabetes and heart disease
The value and limitations of genetic information in prevention, treatment, and cure
The complex, subtle interrelationships between genes and cancer
What science knows - and doesn't know - about genetics and human behavior
The fraught, controversial history of attempts to link genes with intelligence
Gene therapy: what’s worked and what hasn't
The potential and profound implications of personalized medicine
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Pretty good if you REALLY like the subject matter
I have a great interest in books on biology and genetics, and this book held my attention mostly because of this personal interest. It's not as engaging, either the writing or the performance, as some of my true favorites: "Genome" by Matt Ridley, "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee, "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. I know the subject matter is slightly different, and this is decent science writing, it's just not GREAT science writing. The great ones compel you to keep reading on the topic because of their ability to explain what is truly fascinating about a complex subject in a manner which ignites your curiosity and imagination. I did enjoy this audiobook and finished it, but mostly to pass the time, not because I couldn't stop listening to it.
Dry delivery, and lots of mispronunciation (over and over again). If you know the subject matter at all, it's so distracting to hear him repeatedly mispronounce the same words. Makes you wish he had read it ahead of time and consulted with someone on how to say the words right.
Would have been better halved
- JJ Charles