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Summary

Just 45 years ago, the age of gene modification was born. Researchers could create glow-in-the-dark mice, farmyard animals producing drugs in their milk, and vitamin-enhanced rice that could prevent half a million people going blind every year. 

But now GM is rapidly being supplanted by a new system called CRISPR or "gene editing". Using this approach, scientists can manipulate the genes of almost any organism with a degree of precision, ease and speed that we could only dream of ten years ago. 

But is it ethical to change the genetic material of organisms in a way that might be passed on to future generations? If a person is suffering from a lethal genetic disease, is it even more unethical to deny them this option? Who controls the application of this technology, when it makes "biohacking" - perhaps of one’s own genome - a real possibility? 

Nessa Carey’s book is a thrilling and timely snapshot of a technology that will radically alter our futures.

©2019 by Nessa Carey. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Hacking the Code of Life

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Great book

It really contextualises the work that has been done and can now be done with CRISPR techniques. I was personally more interested in the history side as I am familiar with the science, it was great hearing about the people behind the technology and the legal drama. The science is explanations are also great, a great example of engaging science communication. the book is not perfect but close to it.

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  • A. Toomey
  • 18-06-20

Decent Overview. Could lose sarcasm.

This book starts out with a lot of snark and sarcasm. I'm assuming the intention is to provide humor, but for me it was too thickly laid on for a science book even one meant for the mainstream. Thankfully, by chapter two it does thin down to the occasional comment or jab at this group or that situation.

Overall the content generally lines up with what I know of the field, though I'm no expert. At times she does raise some interesting questions and conundrums which will need to be addressed as the science moves forward. If you're looking for a broad overview of the field this succeeds in that regard, though as others have noted, with a field moving along so quickly how long this information remains current is anyone's guess.

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  • sct
  • 04-07-19

Great survey on the state of the art of genetics

I listened this book in rapid succession after 'The Gene' by Siddhartha Mukherjee and Nessa''s previous book "The Epigentics Revolution". I'd highly recommend this trio if you want to get a good grounder on this topic.

I felt that the book did a great job reviewing the state of the art of this area of science. Not only the science, but also gave insights into the regulatory difficulties, the people behind the science and she even touched on some of the ethical issues. She succeeded in being balanced and even - i.e., no moral preening that was present in other books on this topic. Probably the most sensationalistic part of the book is the title - but authors sometimes don't get to choose this.

I saw another post about the audio being bad - I had no such complaints.

The only fear I have about this book is that because the science is moving so quickly, it may have a short shelf life. So...listen to it now!

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  • Rick B
  • 22-05-21

A New World

This is an excellent listen from Audible as it reflects on the history of an emerging technology that has the power to change the world. The narration by Karen Cass is perfect. If you enjoy learning and appreciate the value of truth, then I believe that this investment will not disappoint you. The near future is ours to control. Will we do it responsibly or change our species by mistake. There are very deep possibilities within Gene editing. We could help feed the hungry, prevent disease and stop the incredible pain that some people must feel just to be alive. There is so much we could do to make positive change, but the possibility for negative change is beyond our understanding. I highly recommend this book, The narrator has a very English accent, I think that adds to the over all value as the listener is more inclined to listen carefully to the message. 5 Stars all the way!

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  • Pete D
  • 14-10-19

Wonderfull Book

Well done so a layman can understand. Very current information in a fast moving field.

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  • RT
  • 23-06-19

Audio hurts my ears SO bad

Love Nessa Carey, Her stuff is AMAZING. The audio for this book is SOOOOOO Bad!!! At times it sounds like I am listening to someone speak underwater where certain beginning and endings of words blurr and combine together to sound like white noise, almost sounds like its a poorly designed AI that read the book. its very annoying and ruined the book for me.

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  • Philip Savva
  • 30-04-22

Bang ! Crack ! Swashbucklers will save us ..

Info-audicted, finally someone raising the roof. Here's the arthritis cure & how it is done.