“Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why an adult human being resembles a chimp fetus? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction — is it worse than the disease?”
“Welcome to our genetic world. Fast, furious, and out of control. This is not the world of the future—it’s the world right now.”
We have entered to an era where there are scientific, biotechnological and genetic advances and these advances had and would made it possible for us to perform many things that early man has never dreamt of. Have you ever thought of a world we would be able to sell our sperms and eggs for thousands of dollars, a time where each and every defect would be corrected using genes or frame someone for a genetic crime???
And this is what Michael Crichton, famous author of Jurassic Park; has brought out in his book “Next”, last novel to be published during his life time. Michael Crichton is renowned in the field of science fiction thrillers. The ‘Next’ deals with the genetic advances in human level and although in the present we don’t experience such in science it lead us to imagine how the world would be when humans are genetically modified.
Well I am not a critic to tell you about a book but I am a reader to myself and this is just a quick look at the book.
The book take us a tour into the legal matters related with genetic research where a famous research company get on with a cancer survivor whose cells has been taken even without his knowledge. The company declares that they have the right to his cells and the patient has no longer a right to sell his cells. The case is heard at the court where all things turn up in favor of the company and they decide to culture the cells of the survivor’s daughter and grandson which led them to flee.
The company is also doing researches on maturity gene where they test it on lab rats but eventually a researcher expose the gene to his drug addicted brother and he getting cured makes him to expose the gene to the people illegally. And also the story runs along a transgenic ape-child resulted from implantation of half human-half ape embryo and the how the family struggle to bring up that child. There is another transgenic character in the novel and that is a parrot by the name Gerard. So the storyline goes on like this and it would be an uninteresting to someone who has no idea of genetic matters but to a person who see the beauty in genetics it would be interesting as it was for myself and the novel gives a clear view on how it would become controversial when comes to genetic matters in humans in the future.