July 25, 2016
(National Geographic) – The gene is “one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in the history of science,” argues Siddhartha Mukherjee in The Gene: An Intimate History. Since its discovery by Gregor Mendel, an obscure Moravian monk, the gene has been both a force for good and ill. In the 1930s, the Nazis exploited the pseudoscience of eugenics as a prelude to the Holocaust. Today, gene therapy holds out the hope of eradicating hereditary conditions like Huntington’s disease and even psychological disturbances, such as schizophrenia.
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