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READS Welcome to the Genomics Book Club


Looking for holiday gifts for all your relatives who don’t understand the significance of what you do for a living? Why not a genome tome?

The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life is the latest addition to the growing stack of not-overly-scholarly books designed to explain to the masses the importance of the human genome sequence. (See list below for others).

Co-editors Michael Yudell, a genomics policy and ethics researcher at the American Museum of Natural History, and Rob DeSalle, a curator in the museum’s division of invertebrate zoology, compiled essays by 21 genomics industry observers (dignitaries Haseltine, Hood, Varmus, and Venter among them), into a volume that spans genomics topics from sequencing to SNPs, eugenics to ethics.

The duo recently celebrated the release of the hardback with friends, family, and colleagues at a party in an elegant townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. As wine flowed and a cake bearing an icing reproduction of the book cover was sliced, Yudell thanked supporters and urged guests to learn more about the genome with a $20 purchase of the 200-page book.

If your gift recipient is still confused, not to worry. You can follow up next year with an easier-to-digest explanation. Yudell and DeSalle’s Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to the Genetic Future is due out from Wiley in 2003.

— Adrienne Burke

On every gift-giver’s genomics reading list

Mainstream-oriented genomics books published between October 2000 and October 2002:

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth, by Juan Enriquez

Darwin in the Genome: Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution, by Lynn Helena Caporale

Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix, by James Watson

Genetically Yours: Bioinforming, Biopharming, and Biofarming, by Hwa A. Lim

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, by Matt Ridley

Life Script: How the Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine and Enhance Your Health, by Nicholas Wade

The Common Thread: A Story of Science, Politics, Ethics and the Human Genome, by John Sulston and Georgina Ferry

The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life, edited by Michael Yudell and Rob DeSalle

The Human Genome, by James Watson

Transducing the Genome: Information, Anarchy, and Revolution in the Biomedical Sciences, by Gary Zweiger

Understanding the Genome, from the editors of Scientific American


The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.