Review of “The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Review of 'The Gene: An Intimate History' by Siddhartha MukherjeeI’ve been looking forward to reading Siddhartha Mukherjee’s latest book, “The Gene: An Intimate History”, since it was published last year.

His Pulitzer prize-winning “The Emperor of All Maladies” is one of the most interesting and informative books about cancer that I’ve read. In addition, now that genome sequencing and other forms of genetic testing are becoming more accessible and more common, I hoped this new book would provide some insights about¬†where we are in all of this and what we might realistically expect from more expansive genetic testing in the years to come.

The implications of what has been learned about the gene and what it means for future generations are very personal for Mukherjee, as he reveals in sharing the stories of several family members who have been affected by mental illness. He comes back to these stories and how they relate to our growing understanding of the biology of inherited disease risk at various times in the book. Continue reading

Ken Burns’ “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

The Ken Burns film Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies highlights the contributions of patients, especially children, to cancer research over the years.The Ken Burns film, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” based on the book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, is a compelling story of the progress that’s been made against cancer over the last several decades.

And we have indeed come a long way in 30 or 40 years. Yet, as the move makes clear, we are far from a “cure” and continued investment in research is going to be critical to building on what has been learned and accomplished so far.

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