Promising Genomics: Iceland deCODE genetics in a world of speculation

Promising Genomics: Iceland deCODE genetics in a world of speculation

SAGE 5711

April 30, 2008 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Part detective story, part exposé, and part travelogue, Promising Genomics investigates one of the signature biotech stories of our time, and in so doing, opens a window onto the high-speed, high- tech, and high- finance world of genome science at the turn of the millennium. In a luminous account, Mike Fortun investigates how deCODE Genetics in Iceland, celebrated in The New Yorker, Times, Forbes, and elsewhere, became one of the wealthiest companies of its kind, as well as one of the most scandalous, with its controversial plan to use the genes and medical records of the entire Icelandic population for scientific research. Along the way, Fortun delves into the poetry of W.H. Auden, the novels of Iceland's Nobel laureate Halldor Laxness, the perils of Keiko the killer whale, and the world of on-line stock traders to illuminate the deCODE story. This highly original book, drawing from rich, on- the-ground research, maps the contemporary genomics landscape at a time we must begin to ask essential questions about what "life" is made of in the age of DNA, databases, dividends, and derivatives trading.
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