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The Cure in the Code by Peter Huber

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5

REASSEMBLING THE PIECES: PART 1

WHEN THE GENETIC facts finally surfaced, biologists were surprised to learn that a deer is more closely related to a whale than to a pig. Elephant shrews, golden moles, manatees, and elephants likewise have much in common, deep down. So do humans, apes, rabbits, and bats. Today’s taxonomists no longer infer kinship from the large-scale anatomical and behavioral features that guided their predecessors. As geneticist Steve Jones puts it in Darwin’s Ghost, “The nineteenth century used bones, but now we have molecules.”

Medicine’s descent into the microcosm is creating completely new molecular taxonomies of humanity itself, in its sickness and its health. And it is by combining the molecular science of human bodies ...

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