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The Gene: An Intimate History

Siddhartha Mukherjee

5 mins

3 key insights

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This rigorous and intimate account of the origin and development of genetic research traverses scientific history to provide a profound investigation into what makes us human.

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The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Overview

In just the past few decades, genetic research has provided unprecedented us with life-saving and illuminating breakthroughs. But what does this deeper knowledge of the most elemental unit of life mean for humanity and its future?

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies, professor and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, comes another award-winning historical biography weaving personal narrative, science, and history into a riveting chronicle of the human gene. A writer for The New Yorker and The New York Times, Mukherjee is renowned for his humanistic insight into the complex fields of science and medicine.

In chronicling the evolution of the gene, Mukherjee threads his own history together with that of Aristotle and Mendel, Darwin and Nazi eugenics, and the scientists who mapped the human genome. The Gene: An Intimate History illuminates not only the nature and influence of genetics, but the cautionary moral questions posed by our ability to redefine what it means to be human.

Favorite quote

We're no longer studying and altering genes in test tubes, but in their native context in human cells... This transition - from explanation to manipulation - is precisely what makes the field of genetics resonate far beyond the realms of science.

- Siddhartha Mukherjee

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