- Molecular biology – genetics – is one of the fastest-moving fields of modern science. It is also one which has wide-ranging implications for us all.
- In this remarkable book, Philippe Frossard argues that our genetic make-up is, at present, literally a lottery. Our tendency to disease, our potential lifespan, our potential for a healthy life – all these are to a great extent dictated by the genes we inherit. But, as he points out, armed with the knowledge we have from genetic science, there is much we ourselves can do to avoid life-threatening conditions. The future of medicine is in prevention, and it is not impossible that within the next few years we will see a cure for cancer or the eradication of coronary heart disease.
- The conquering of disease is not simply a humanitarian quest: scientists and the major drug companies are all racing to discover new and more effective treatments, and the financial rewards are huge. This financial impetus puts additional pressure on the scientists and raises in turn complex ethical questions. Should, for example, the drug industry really profit from the suffering caused by disease?
- From the discovery of DNA in the 1950s to the first test-tube baby, from the study of inherited diseases to radical and effective treatments for them, to the ethical questions raised by the new science. The Lottery of Life provides a clear and fascinating account of current developments in this extraordinary and crucial field of contemporary scientific research.
- Mapping the human gene – what can it tell us?
- Just what is 'genetic engineering'?
- Were test-tube babies only the beginning?
- Will there be a cure for cancer?
- Does old-age have to be inevitable?
- Does life really have to be a lottery?
- Dr Philippe Frossard is uniquely qualified to explore the latest developments in genetic science. He has researched in this field for over ten years in universities in Europe and America and in the private sector as a consultant to California Biotechnology Inc.
Bantam Press, Transworld Publishers, 1991. Hardback.
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