The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World

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9780874779097: The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World
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A thorough account of what is currently possible as well as what is in development in the fields of biochips, cloning, and genetic mapping also discusses how these discoveries are already changing the future of humankind. 30,000 first printing.

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When two Scottish scientists successfully cloned a sheep in July 1996, the news sparked fierce scientific, ethical, theological, and philosophical debate, momentarily pulling biotechnology from the laboratories and thrusting it onto the front pages. With living proof that such advancements are no longer the stuff of science fiction, a whole new world of possibilities--and dangers--presented itself. Jeremy Rifkin is more concerned with the dangers of this technology, and in The Biotech Century , he presents numerous compelling reasons why we should be, too. Many of these dangers revolve around the seemingly inevitable commercialization of genetically engineered life forms that would come if corporations battled for the rights to patents on new or modified species of plants, animals, or even human beings. Rifkin warns that "designer" babies and genetically perfect humans, along with any other artificial creations, would wreak havoc with the gene pool and the natural environment. While he concedes that there are benefits to biotechnology, he makes it clear that the risks far outweigh the rewards at this time, urging for greater restraint and responsibility before opening what could be a Pandora's box.

About the Author:

One of the most popular social thinkers of our time, Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The European Dream, The Hydrogen Economy, The Age of Access, The Biotech Century, and The End of Work. A fellow at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program, he is president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, MD.

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