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UnDisciplined: Is personalized medicine a threat to public health?

A pharmacist pulls a bottle of medicine off a shelf.
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Personalized medicine sounds like a good idea. Our genes are all quite different, after all, so why should our medical treatment be the same? But what sounds like a good idea in theory might not be working in practice.

James Tabery is a professor at the University of Utah, where he studies the history and philosophy of science, as well as bioethics. His new book is called "Tyranny of the Gene."

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>