Our fates lie in our genes and not in the stars, said James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.
But Watson could not have predicted the scale of the industry now dedicated to this new frontier.
Since the launch of the multibillion-dollar Human Genome Project, the biosciences have promised miraculous cures and radical new ways of understanding who we are.
But where is the new world we were promised? Now updated with a new afterword, Genes, Cells and Brains asks why the promised cornucopia of health benefits has failed to emerge and reveals the questionable enterprise that has grown out of bioethics.
The authors, feminist sociologist Hilary Rose and neuroscientist Steven Rose, examine the establishment of biobanks, the rivalries between public and private gene sequencers, and the rise of stem cell research.
The human body is becoming a commodity, and the unfulfilled promises of the science behind this revolution suggest profound failings in genomics itself.