The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalised Medicine

From The Guardian:

The-Language-of-Life-DNA-and Francis Collins was appointed director of the National Institutes of Health (equivalent of the Medical Research Council) by President Obama in August 2009. He is the Pete Seeger of molecular biology. When he has made a great discovery he writes a song about it. And the connection is not just a matter of uplifting songs: Collins is a geneticist, but his spiritual, emotional and political inheritance comes from Roosevelt's New Deal (his parents worked with Eleanor Roosevelt), folk music and God, just as much as from Darwin, Mendel and Crick.

The cover of The Language of Life carries Obama's endorsement: “His groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease.” His is a brilliant appointment, albeit controversial among some scientists: Collins is the highest-profile scientist and public administrator who is also a proselytising Christian. His previous book, The Language of God, contains both the most concise exposition I have read on why evolution is demonstrable fact and a moving account of his religious conversion from early atheism to strong belief. This stance has brought him into conflict both with Richard Dawkins and with Christian groups in the US. But, as right-wing attacks on evolution and global warming science broaden into a generalised anti-science movement, Collins is an important figure – someone who can wrong-foot people who have polarised attitudes.

In his new book, he is here to tell us that the era of personalised genetic testing is nigh.

More here.