The Genome Generation by Elizabeth Finkel

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The year 2001 marked more than just the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's space odyssey, it marked the beginning of the genome era. That was the year scientists first read the 3 billion letters of DNA that make up the human genome. This was followed by a veritable Noah's Ark of genomes—sponges and worms, dogs and cows, rice and wheat, chimps and elephants—180 creatures aboard so far.

So what have we learnt from all this? How has it changed the way we practise medicine, grow crops and breed livestock? What have we learnt about evolution?

These are the questions science writer and molecular biologist Elizabeth Finkel asked herself four years ago. To find the answers she travelled the science frontier from Botswana to Boston, from Warracknabeal to Mexico and tracked down scientists working in the field. Their stories, told in The Genome Generation, paint the picture of what it means to be part of the genome generation.

Read an excerpt from the book

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About the author

Elizabeth Finkel holds a PhD in biochemistry and spent 10 years as a professional research scientist before becoming a journalist. She has written for Science, Lancet, Nature Medicine, and New Scientist, and has broadcast for ABC Radio National. She is a contributing editor to Cosmos magazine.

Her numerous awards include a Queensland Premier's Literary award for her book, Stem Cells: Controversy at the Frontiers of Science. She was a finalist in the Eureka Award for Medical Journalism, won the Michael Daley award for best radio feature broadcast, and has won a number of MBP science journalism awards. In 2011 she was named the National Press Club's Higher Education Journalist of the Year.