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It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson

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Broken Genes, Broken Lives

Cancer touches every one of our lives in one way or another, seeming to show little care or concern for whom it attacks. There does not seem to be much we can do about preventing it, aside from eating more carefully and avoiding smoking. Perhaps because of the visceral nature of the disease that so clearly arises inside our bodies, unlike an infection transmitted by sex or perhaps an insect bite, cancer is commonly regarded as a genetic problem.

We’re told it is often hereditary, and this is a source of particular worry when common experience reveals that a couple of relatives in the extended family have had cancer. But since it is so common and so diverse, in most cases coincidence is a more likely explanation than ...

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