Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester. His most recent book is Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code. (July 2017)

IN THE REVIEW

The Brave New World of Gene Editing

The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids—and the Kids We Have

by Bonnie Rochman

DNA Is Not Destiny: The Remarkable, Completely Misunderstood Relationship Between You and Your Genes

by Steven J. Heine
In recent years, two new genetic technologies have started a scientific and medical revolution. One, relatively well known, is the ability to easily decode the information in our genes. The other, which is only dimly understood by the general public, is our newfound capacity to modify genes at will. These innovations give us the power to predict certain risks to our health, eliminate deadly diseases, and ultimately transform ourselves and the whole of nature. This development raises complex and urgent questions about the kind of society we want and who we really are. A brave new world is just around the corner, and we had better be ready for it or things could go horribly wrong.