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In a short time we will have transliterated the human genome, played out many parts of it in cells, and gotten some difficult passages translated for us in transgenic animals. Then we will begin hunting for the passages we want most to know about, the ones responsible for our humanity and, if not our souls, then our ability to imagine souls. What we have found so far suggests that it will be impossible to know ourselves this way, but we could easily do great damage to future fellow citizens by trying. As a friend once said to make me reconsider a particularly seductive experiment, if it isn't worth doing, it isn't worth doing well.

Section 1 Interpreting the code of life
by Robert Pollack

Section 2 Genome data in the public domain: unleashed synergies
by Laura Newman

Section 3 Homeosis and the tradition behind this year's nobel
by Claudio D. Stern

Section 4 The dilemma of genetic testing: do we want to be "knowledge-macho"?
by Steve Benowitz

Section 5 Digital Soup: DNA as a computational device
by Mark Fischetti

Section 6 The other DNA: research on mitochondrial diseases
by Eric A. Schon and Salvatore DiMauro

Section 7 DNA as a forensic instrument
by Mark Fischetti

Section 7 Molecular biology and the polis, or, What's worth doing well?
by Robert Pollack

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