Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > Getting Over the Code Delusion > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

The Human Genome Project: Did the revolution happen? (1)

The most striking thing about the genomic revolution is that the revolution never happened. Yes, it's been an era of the most amazing technical achievement, marked by an overwhelming flood of new data. Supposed new molecular mechanisms are being detailed weekly. But one might easily think that the meaning of it all — how we can understand the integrity and unified functioning of the living cell — has been more obscured than illumined by the torrent of data. It's true that we are gaining, even if largely by trial and error, certain manipulative powers. But what about our clouded vision of the Grail? "Many of us in the genetics community", write Linda and Edward McCabe, authors of DNA: Promise and Peril, "sincerely believed that DNA analysis would provide us with a molecular crystal ball that would allow us to know quite accurately the clinical futures of our individual patients". Unfortunately, as they and many others now acknowledge, the reality did not prove so straightforward.

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