The God Gene

Not to belittle their powers, but crystal balls, tea leaves, and palm reading leave a lot to be desired when it comes to accurate prediction of the future. The question before us now is whether personal genotyping will prove to be any more accurate. It is one thing to fork out $20 for a séance on the Las Vegas strip, another to find $1,000 to send off to “23andMe” or “DecodeMe” for a saliva kit that gets your own genome profiled using the same methods that underlie much of the research in this book. I’m toying with the idea myself, even though I know the money could be better spent paying down the mortgage, or even better, providing heifers for Haitian villagers.

To be fair, the objective of these new personal genome ventures is ...

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