The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine by Francis S. Collins

617 Words Feb 16th, 2018 2 Pages
Collins penned The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine. At that time, he was the director of the Human Genome Project and now currently serves as the head of the National Institutes of Health. Collins is an American geneticist who was influential in discovering the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis and type II diabetes. The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine begins with a rough overview of genetic principles that will be used in further chapters. The book delves into dominant and recessive genes, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and other genetic mutations, as well as, various conditions that arise from the previous genetic circumstances.
Dr. Collins uses numerous examples throughout his book, including personal experiences to explain the effect genetic testing has on the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases. For example, Dr. Collins speaks about the positive experiences individuals have had in regards to the treatment of their genetically inherited conditions. One case he mentions is a girl named Tracey Beck. Tracey suffered from phenylketonuria (PKU), a condition where the body cannot metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine that is found in protein. High levels of phenylalanine build up in the brain causing developmental delays. After exhibiting signs of sleepless by her mother, Tracey was given a newborn screening test. The results of Tracey’s test were…
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