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Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves by Ed Regis, George Church

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CHAPTER 1

-3,800 MYR, LATE HADEAN

At the Inorganic/Organic Interface

What follows is the greatest story ever.

It’s the story of a once invisible being, nameless for eons, now called “the genome.” Its being—its existence across time, its depth and complexity as a natural artifact, and the vast abundance and variety of its manifestations—is the story. It is ancient and modern, older than our oldest ancestor and yet fresher than a newborn baby. It has covered our planet with its descendants, now over a billion times a billion times a billion copies (1027).

The tale of the genome involves more sex than the most pornographic novel imaginable. The narrative ...

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