Leuven University Press
A smart and witty guide to all you want to know about human geneticsHuman genetics is not the playground of science alone. Genetics concerns all of us, for we all have DNA, genes, genomes, and chromosomes. Our genes determine partly our appearance and our behaviour, our talents and our health risks.
The authors of The Human Recipe use humour to explain what we understand about human genetics. With anecdotes and topical examples, they demonstrate how genetics affects our everyday lives. What if a DNA analysis were to reveal that your biological father must be someone other than the person you’ve been calling “Dad” for years? Does genetics explain why Africans excel in athletics, Asians in gymnastics, and Europeans mainly in sports testing physical strengths? What is the difference between a genetic disease and a contagious illness?
The newest developments in human genetics also raise ethical questions and issues which are currently being debated within the genetics community, and the authors do not avoid looking at these either. Should we use genetics to ensure the conception of healthy children or even “designer babies”? Should we identify genetic risks before pregnancy? Should we edit genes in embryos? Can we identify our risk for cancers and can we prevent them? What about privacy in DNA research and forensic databases? Can DNA be stolen, and if so, would this be considered a serious crime? The Human Recipe provides a clever insight into all you might want to know about human genetics in our current society.
The title of this book itself The Human Recipe illustrates the tongue in cheek approach of the authors to genetic determinism. We find rare and provocative, multidisciplinary insights and perceptions into the socio-ethical issues surrounding both reproductive technologies, genetic research and clinical genetics. Accessible and yet as complex and human as genetic information itself - a must read! - Bartha Maria Knoppers, Center of Genomics and Policy/McGill University)