It seem as if DNA and genetic technologies are in the news every day. Paternity testing, cloning, tests for, genetics diseases, DNA fingerprinting, stem cell, gene therapy, genetically modified foods—our world has been transformed by our understanding of the genetic code.
Fundamental new insights into the workings of nature often trigger dramatic changes in the human condition. The discovery of the nature of electricity and magnetism, for example, led to the electrification of entire continents. The discovery of the laws of quantum mechanics eventually led to the modern information revolution. Now, our new understanding of the genetic mechanisms of all living things is leading to changes every bit as profound and pervasive. In fact, this revolution has already begun, although its consequences are not always immediately visible to the general public. At research centers and hospitals around the world the new molecular understanding of life is being put to work to cure diseases and to better the human condition.