Literature, Film & Genetics

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A web site devoted to novels and films that confront the social, ethical, and cultural implications of genetics. 


Next (2006)
By Michael Crichton

At the center of this multi-plotted novel, Michael Crichton depicts the problems that arise from gene patenting. The human genome has been fully mapped and geneticists employed by a vast field of Biotechnology corporations all over the world are racing to patent single genes responsible for various human traits or conditions. As soon as a firm thinks it has identified such a gene, big-time financiers and adolescent focus groups are brought in to name and market the gene’s uses for cures to diseases and even social ills like alcoholism, anti-socialism, etc. Crichton depicts the discovery of the “maturity gene,” the “sociability gene,” the “master gene,” the “death gene” and more...

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