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Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  86 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Here is a Human Being delivers the first in-depth look at the Personal Genome Project—the effort to construct complete genomic maps of a specific human beings—written by one of the study’s ten human participants. Misha Angrist recounts the project’s fascinating nuances, including the larger-than-life personalities of the research subjects, the entrepreneurial scientists at ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 1st 2010)
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Lorne Daniel
Feb 27, 2012 Lorne Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Human genomics is one of those big waves of science and change that I have mostly tried to ignore, in the hopes that it will just wash over me and I will come up, sputtering but alive, after it crashes through.

If you are a non-scientist like me, you also hope that when the term human genomics is thrown out at some dinner party you can deliver one pithy line of commentary and then retreat to the kitchen to refill your glass.

Here Is a Human Being is an entertaining tale about one man’s foray into
Feb 26, 2011 Haley rated it really liked it
This book was kind of all over the place and not really what I was expecting, but still a lot of fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to people who aren't already super excited about genomes.

Misha Angrist was one of the first participants accepted into the "Personal Genome Project" (PGP) -- the brainchild of Harvard scientist George Church. The underlying premise of PGP is to not only sequence people's genomes (or maybe just exomes?) but also to give all of
Jul 28, 2012 Melankalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
When I entered and won this book from the Goodreads Giveaways promotion, I wasn't entirely sure I would like it. It sounded really interesting, but maybe just a bit too dry for someone who reads mostly fiction.

I could not have been more wrong.

This was such an interesting read. In the narrative, the author walks that fine line between informative and entertaining, thus doing an excellent job of keeping you engaged in the work. The book is written in a way that makes the more technical aspects e
Misha Angrist
Sep 10, 2011 Misha Angrist added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my book. I think it's pretty good and that you should read it. Duh. I say more about it on my blog:
Dec 21, 2010 cheryl rated it liked it
Although I tend to be a fiction gal, the topic drew me to Here is a Human Being: At The Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist as a book to receive (and then review) from the folks at Harper. I never really focused on science studies but I was always intrigued by genetics and fulfilled one of my natural science requirements in college with a course titled Human Genetics, Ethics and Public Policy. I was in college in the later 90s so obviously there has been change since then. I say all this ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
I was fascinated by the genome for years, but didn't have a lot of background. This book gives me some answers, but even more questions about how personalized medicine will be handled in the future.

Angrist gives us a first-person account of his PGP-10 experience. (PGP-10 is the first 10 individuals to publish their complete genomes.) The account was easy to read as it flows like a stream of conscientiousness tale. It is personal and you actually get an idea of the personalities of people he foll
Sep 26, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent overview of the trajectory of personal genomics. One of those books where minute details about the day to day mechanics of his neurosis about the whole thing kinda got in the way. I do realize that that was kind of a subtext of his book but it didn't do anything for me. Once again though, a book that illuminates the personalities of the people in the industry is very valuable to me. Because one of my subtexts is that personality is way more important in human endeavors than is ever given ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
I also read this book for my Genomics class, in hopes of finding something based a little more in hard science land than The Seven Daughters of Eve. That it does, though it really does more focus on ethics of personal genomics than the science itself, but it is most firmly grounded on the cutting edge, as it were. Angrist describes and examines with clarity and humor the sociological implications of where human genomics is headed after the sequencing of human genome, particularly in what the imp ...more
Jun 07, 2012 PF rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blogged here:
Of course, working in healthcare, I had heard about personal genomics. It was on my horizon, something about which I wanted to know more. When I was offered a review copy of the new edition of Here Is A Human Being, At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist, I thought that would be a great way for me to accomplish that goal.

For context, I’ve written a few book reviews in my past. Enough so, that I have my usual strategy: read the
Jonathan Hunsberger
I bought this because the author is an acquaintance and I always like to read books that are written by people I know. Given the topic and his profession, I was expecting a hard slog through something very technical, but this book is very accessible and kept me interested throughout.

Several people who saw me reading this book asked what it was about. When I gave the basic premise, the first question was always "what did he find out?" That's the natural first question, but once you've read (or e
Jan 12, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cool look at the history of personal genomics and Misha's personal experience within this history. In the field of genetics, he's a rock star - and we as readers benefit from his back stage pass to all other rock stars in the field (e.g., George Church, Francis Collins). I appreciated the historical perspective. It's easy to think that the way things happened (the development of genetic sequencing technology, the mapping of the human genome) were all sort of a pre-destined, linear unfolding of e ...more
DeLene Beeland
Dec 26, 2012 DeLene Beeland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful read! Angrist's story is an engaging blend of humanism and science. I wrote a review of this book on my personal blog, here's a taste: "Angrist also delves in to the human dimension of what it means when an individual chooses to dive into their own genome — he likens it to drinking from a fire hose — an experience that is as individualistic as it is communal in terms of how the information you learn about yourself can affect your loved ones, and even your children. In short, ...more
Daniel Hooker
Tough subject. Deeply scientific, parts of this book are fascinating. But he launches into the story without much of a preamble, I never felt I understod what the author was trying to explain to us at a high level. The beginning chapters (and portions of each subsequent chapter) are bogged down by names and places of corporations that power genomic testing, but without a context for what they're doing, it's just plain boring. It gets better in the middle when talking about the actual science and ...more
Christopher Vetek
Less technical learning than a memoir, overview for the public audience.
But it was interesting, sort of.
May 25, 2012 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Angrist was chosen as one of ten scientists to have their personal genome mapped as an example of what could be learned. Ethics about disclosing propensities for certain diseases that have no cure or way of being prevented is discussed. There is a lot about Angrist's own feelings and misgivings, especially about disclosing a genetic predisposition for a disease that his daughters might inherit and wouldn't be prepared to hear about yet.
May 17, 2011 Aaron rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Martin Samuel, Amit Aggarwal, Marie Wong
Shelves: science
A very good overview of the state of the art, well as of mid last year anyway. An insightful and informative read, with lots of introspective anecdotes all over. I almost feel like I know these folks now... the champions of personal genomics. Highly recommended for all interested in the field (or who have family members who are happy to publicize their genomes). Forget social media, here comes gen-X, the genetic-exhibitionists :)
Jacqueline Ogburn
Mar 14, 2011 Jacqueline Ogburn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A fascinating combination of science and the personal, Angrist was one of the first people to have his genome sequenced and made public. He takes readers through the fast-evolving field of personal genomics, introducing key players and meditations on the implications revealing his genetic information. It's also quite funny in places.
Errol Frank
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Scrubs LLC
Feb 27, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Not extremely bad... It was difficult for me to connect to what the author was trying to say: a recount of his adventure as a Ginny pig in a genome decoding project. I was expecting something else; like descriptions of genes and relations to the human way of being; but it was more like a journal.
Robin Hulbert
I recommend this book for anyone interested in human genetics and personal genome sequencing. Very enlightening and informative. Misha Angrist has a good sense of humor and explains the biology in a way that the non-biologist can understand.
Dec 02, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
What caught my eye was the cover very colorful.In the beggining it started out good then toward the rest of it I find that it dragged on.My brain was wondering and had a hard time focusing on this book,lots of information.
Science For The People
Featured on Skeptically Speaking show #143 on December 18, 2011, during an interview with author Misha Angrist.
Jeff Grown
Jul 09, 2013 Jeff Grown rated it it was amazing
Really good post! That is if these are all writers on the internet can really find what you're looking! Regards
Joanne  Manaster
Nov 12, 2011 Joanne Manaster rated it really liked it
I like it! I did a video review here, along with The $1000 Genome by Kevin Davies!

Aug 23, 2012 Sharron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*recieved this book in giveaway.

Fascinating and entertaining!
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Misha Angrist is Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. In April 2007 he became the fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project. In 2009 he had his full genome sequenced and made it public. His book, Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics (2010) is published by HarperCollins. "
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