GENOME: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters


A great introduction to the world of DNA. Some chapters are especially interesting, sometimes even scary… As I assumed, there are a lot of ethical questions raised, perhaps more than scientific description.

Genome is like recipe for human body and mind. Knowing how much they influence how we live and behave was very liberating for me. By reading “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” I learned how environment had influenced human society. By reading “Genome,” I learned how DNA can influence human individuals, physically and even mentally.

I was a little surprised to see how much influence DNA has on our behavior and personality. DNA does not define or control who you are, but it has strong influence on where we start. Again, it’s like recipe, but we can add ingredients later on and improve our dishes.

Sometimes people get lucky, having great recipe from the beginning. Others have plain recipe, perhaps with typos here and there. Fortunately, most genetic “typos” are not fatal, and can be adjusted or coped later on.

I am strengthening my belief that humans are equal. Not as an ideal, but a fact. It’s just that people are born in different environments, and maybe with different sets of DNA.


I wonder how much books are influencing me… Maybe more than my DNA.