Nessa Carey – Hacking the Code of Life


Just 45 years ago, the age of gene modification was born. Researchers could create glow-in-the-dark mice, farmyard animals producing drugs in their milk, and vitamin-enhanced rice that could prevent half a million people going blind every year.

But now GM is rapidly being supplanted by a new system called CRISPR or “gene editing”. Using this approach, scientists can manipulate the genes of almost any organism with a degree of precision, ease and speed that we could only dream of ten years ago.

But is it ethical to change the genetic material of organisms in a way that might be passed on to future generations? If a person is suffering from a lethal genetic disease, is it even more unethical to deny them this option? Who controls the application of this technology, when it makes “biohacking” – perhaps of ones own genome – a real possibility?

Nessa Careys book is a thrilling and timely snapshot of a technology that will radically alter our futures.

Author: Nessa Carey
Narrator: Karen Cass
Duration: 4 hours 41 minutes
Released: 19 Nov 2006
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Language: English

User Review:

cheekbone secular

I listened this book in rapid succession after ‘The Gene’ by Siddhartha Mukherjee and Nessa”s previous book “The Epigentics Revolution”. I’d highly recommend this trio if you want to get a good grounder on this topic.

I felt that the book did a great job reviewing the state of the art of this area of science. Not only the science, but also gave insights into the regulatory difficulties, the people behind the science and she even touched on some of the ethical issues. She succeeded in being balanced and even – i.e., no moral preening that was present in other books on this topic. Probably the most sensationalistic part of the book is the title – but authors sometimes don’t get to choose this.

I saw another post about the audio being bad – I had no such complaints.

The only fear I have about this book is that because the science is moving so quickly, it may have a short shelf life. So…listen to it now!