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Publisher's Summary

One of the world's leading experts on genetics unravels one of the most important breakthroughs in modern science and medicine.

If our genes are, to a great extent, destiny, then what would happen if mankind could engineer and alter the very essence of our DNA coding? Millions might be spared the devastating effects of hereditary disease or the challenges of disability. But this power to “play God” also raises major ethical questions and poses threats for potential misuse. For decades, these questions have lived exclusively in the realm of science fiction, but as Davies powerfully reveals in his new book, this is all about to change.

Engrossing and captivating, Editing Humanity takes listeners inside the fascinating world of a new gene editing technology called CRISPR, a high-powered genetic toolkit that enables scientists to not only engineer but to edit the DNA of any organism down to the individual building blocks of the genetic code. Davies introduces listeners to arguably the most profound scientific breakthrough of our time. He tracks the scientists on the front lines of its research to the patients whose powerful stories bring the narrative movingly to human scale. In so doing, Davies sheds light on the implications that this new technology will have on our everyday lives and in the lives of generations to come.

©2020 Kevin Davies (P)2020 Novel Audio

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What listeners say about Editing Humanity

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  • Overall
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Excellent content, solid execution

Positives: Editing Humanity is a meticulously well-researched exposition of the ongoing "CRISPR Revolution" that has finally made genome editing practically feasible. The work provided an interesting coverage of both the early history of CRISPR as well as extremely recent developments and included interviews with scores of the brightest scientists in the field. The writing is solid, though not striking. Davies does roundly succeed in highlighting the significance of this fascinating new toolkit, and makes some of the scientist appear to be veritable titans. The narration by the author is great.

Negatives: The author has the occasionally-irritating habit of trying to force himself into the story, which is both distracting and oddly left me with the impression that he is a bit insecure. Examples include his observation that he used to be a good singer as a child, dropping again and again and again that he was Editor at Nature Genetics, and pointing out any comparison he could cook up with the central scientists of the story (usually having attended one of the same schools).

All told, I enjoyed listening to the text. I will likely recommend it to others interested in the field but am unlikely to rave about it to my lay friends. If the author is reading this: thank you for your incredible effort in writing and then narrating this book!!

2 people found this helpful

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most important book you must read

Crispr is the most important invention of the 21st century it will cure every single possible and theoretical condition once we can run all possible permutations of genetic code in a deep learning algorithm we can effectively remove all disease and cancers forever. The pharmaceuticals will go bye bye forever, crispr is what electric cars is to oil companies. be ready for the Age of perfect humans.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant and thought-provoking

Genome editing did not need Drs. Doudna and Charpentier's well-deserved Nobel win to validate it. Though fraught with potential for ethical abuse (something Davies attacks and parses fairly), CRISPR will seem to be one of those things that ends up changing lives and saving lives via "days of small things." Sickle cell and genetically adaptive crops, rare genetic disorders no longer causing families to suffer. While the birth of the "CRISPR babies" also made my stomach turn, I know that if I had a child suffering from the ravages of sickle cell, I would be first in line for treatment. Davies shows how the story of CRISPR is a human one--the scientists who have played a role in it's development over the years, the journalists who broke the news--with all their quirks, genius, and foibles. And he does not reduce Lulu and Nana—the babies born with genes edited by He Jianuki—to hashtags. These are real little girls and Davies tells their story with great humanity. A must-read to understand this scientific and medical innovation beyond hashtags and headlines.

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Enlightening and filled with the ethical questions of the future

The scientific understanding and accuracy herein are phenomenal. You’ll want to read and re-read this until you understand it if you are at all interested in medicine and the prevention of human diseases.

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great

If interested in the emerging fields of Bio-engineering and Bio-medicine or just new research this is a great listen

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A Comprehensive History of CRISPR

This book is a comprehensive and thoughtful treatment of the history of CRISPR and its societal implications. Because it is quite detailed and fairly long, I think it will be of greatest interest to those with a scientific or historical inclination.

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Wonderfully written book

A highly recommended book to anyone who likes to know the current state of genetics, especially the advancements in CRISPR. You may need to have some basic knowledge of genetics and chemistry to enjoy the fullest. However, even if you ignore them you can still enjoy it very much.

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A history of gene editing

This history of Gene editing appears to be a companion of the Nature CRISPR: the movie.

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So interesting!

I decided to look into CRISPR after the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the discovery of this new gene editing tool. This book is a very thorough account of CRISPR, and great insight into Charpentier and Doudna's journey, with an enjoyable storytelling narrative. If all this genome editing talk in the news has piqued your interest, I highly recommend giving this audiobook a listen.