Living in the Past

As scientists clinked champagne glasses earlier this year over the formal publication of the human genome, there was a lot of speculation about how much this rough index to the secrets of human life would affect humankind's future, opening up new vistas for medical therapeutics even as it poses wrenching ethical dilemmas. But in order to look forward, we have to look back. The human genetic code is foremost a record of our quirky and adventurous past, scarred and spurred by accidental developments. All the evidence of our humble evolutionary beginnings is still there. Much of our genome is disturbingly reminiscent...

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