DNA Nation: How the Internet of Genes is Changing your Life
Millions of people have done it: with a few clicks and some spit, and at less than the cost of a fancy dinner, you can buy a reading of your DNA online. With this in hand, you can find out where you came from, trace relatives around the world and find new friends on a genetic social network. You can learn about your predisposition to disease, get a genetically tailored diet, understand the sports to which you or your children might be more suited, and even find a date. It’s the dawn of consumer genomics, where the progress of biology meets the power of the Internet and big data.
But do these applications work? Can we really prevent diseases based on what we read in our DNA? What do scientists say? And crucially, do we really understand the implications? What happens if things go wrong and the data is misused or the trust abused?
The first book to investigate the enormous and widespread impact of DNA social networks on every single aspect of our lives, it will do so by balancing well-researched information and engaging first-person narrative. It will steer away from technicalities and focus on issues that will make a big, timeless story.
Can you imagine a book on computers, media or communication that does not mention the internet and social networks? Of course not. And yet, the existing books about personal genomics have a similar limitation. This book will address the topic with a completely new angle. It will deal with genetic technologies in our homes and that fact that online DNA tools have become mainstream.
- Tracing your ancestry
- Finding biological parents – impact on adoption, privacy, test-tube babies
- Cosmetic counselling based on your DNA
- DNA-based diets and discovering your food preferences and intolerances
- DNA-targeted advertising
- Finding a DNA-matching partner
- Choosing the ideal sport or class for you and your children, Vocational Genomics
- Preventing baldness
- Contributing to research by sharing information about you and your DNA
- Evaluate the genetic risk of disease and the drugs that work best for you
Sergio Pistoi, a journalist and a DNA scientist, investigates this brave new world first-hand by interrogating his own genes, and has provided a practical, informative and thought-provoking survival guide to online genetic testing. In it he conveys the hopes and the risks of coming face-to-face with our own genetic profile. From medicine to food, from social networking to genealogy, this book will show you how the DNA revolution is beginning to have such a profound impact on our daily lives and why it will influence the choices we make.