Rapture : how biotech became the new religion /
Brian Alexander.
1st ed.
New York : Basic Books, c2003.
vii, 289 p.
0738207616 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Basic Books, c2003.
0738207616 (alk. paper)
contents note
Waiting for the rapture -- The prophet -- The endless frontier -- Arise lazarus long! -- The immortal Mr. Steinberg -- Way out west -- Bring on the inquisition -- Water into wine -- Pop! goes the rapture -- The rapture rides in a limo.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-11-15:
The idea that human life could be extended, possibly indefinitely, was long relegated to science fiction and the sensational "science" reported in supermarket tabloids. Over the last 25 years, as cloning and stem-cell research have gained a solid footing in the labs, there has been a gradual merging of the conventional and the formerly weird. Alexander, a science writer and former biotech editor of Wired magazine, traces this merger by following the career of William Haseltine, a controversial but seminal figure in the evolving fields of biotech and life-extension. He also profiles other leading players, including "transhumanist" FM-2030 and James Watson of DNA fame. Since religions and their varying views of the afterlife were previously seen as the only avenues to immortality, Alexander argues that biotech, with its unrealized but almost palpable potential, is now virtually a new religion, demonstrated by the opposition it has spawned from those he calls "bio-Luddites." Alexander writes with humor and an obvious fascination for his subject. Recommended for all science and medical collections.-Dick Maxwell, Penrose-St. Francis Health Svcs., Colorado Springs Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-10-27:
Everybody wants to live longer. Some are willing to go farther than others in pursuit of this dream, and in Rapture, Alexander tells the story of those who have gone the farthest. From the Extropians (who share "a Heinleinian philosophy of betterment through technology, and the creation of a posthuman future") and other fringe groups to researchers at the core of the scientific establishment, the book follows the various players and movements of bio-utopianism who all look forward to the moment of almost-religious rapture when humans can assert full control over their biology, in the process beating disease, aging and even death itself. Alexander, who covered biotechnology for Wired magazine, is at ease discussing the complexities of scientific research and is just as interested in the culture surrounding biotechnology as the biotechnology itself. In a roughly chronological narrative, he introduces the early pioneers of genetic research, building to the "biomania" that drove venture capitalists into biotech firms, such as Genentech, in the late 20th century, fleshing out the backstory behind recent controversies over genetic engineering, cloning and stem cell research. Though sympathetic to his subjects and their work, Alexander casts his tale in shades of gray rather than in black and white, and the result is a nuanced portrait of the intersection of idealism, capitalism, politics and science on the frontiers of biotechnology that will leave readers eager to see what the future might hold. (Nov. ) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, October 2003
Booklist, November 2003
Library Journal, November 2003
SciTech Book News, June 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Waiting for the Rapturep. I
The Prophetp. II
The Endless Frontierp. 27
Arise, Lazarus Long!p. 47
The Immortal Mr. Steinbergp. 65
Way Out Westp. 103
Bring On the Inquisitionp. 125
Water into Winep. 159
Pop! Goes the Rapturep. 201
The Rapture Rides in a Limop. 223
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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