November 30, 2006

Michael Crichton's Next

Michael Crichton, author of popular books such as Jurassic Park has written a new novel about genetic engineering, titled Next. I didn't much like his previous book which expressed unwarranted reservations about the reality of global warming, but this bit from a review of his book seems to me to be right on the money:
Slick, sanctimonious Dr. Robert Bellarmino at the National Institutes of Health touts future genetic cures he doubts will ever happen. Bellarmino knows that individual genes don't determine specific traits such as homosexuality, violence, high IQ, short stature or resistance to Alzheimer's disease; their interaction with other genes and with the environment is staggeringly complex. But it's good for the research business to pretend otherwise. When doctors bend the rules in long-odds attempts to provide the cures for inherited illnesses that the public demands, Bellarmino works to shield them from censure.

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