Condition: read once
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"Next" is a real head shaker.
First you shake your head, because you can't believe what
Crichton has come up with in terms of genetical engineering
and science. A language genome that can make apes talk?
A crossover between man and ape on a genetical basis?
Half intelligent parrots ...
The shaking frequency increases when you realise that
only some of the stuff was made up inside the authors
head. Quite a portion of it has been thought up by real
scientists and real media people. The author merely transformed
the obscurity to fit his plot and exaggerated it.
The next head shaking starts when you enter the whole
field of patenting genomes and so forth. Crichton constructs
a plausible scenario in which the privacy of people is
invaded in a way that makes todays measures look like
What happens if your body happens to include a certain
genome and a pharmaceutical company or university owns
a patent on said genome? What if your kids happen to be
born with those same cells and genomes? Does the tissue
belong to said company? Are they allow to come and take
it? Would you have to pay a license to live in your own
body? Who could sue who?
I didn't know that for years, research on
was going slow because people didn't exactly know whoe
the genome involved belonged to.
Another thing that made me shake my head a little was
the sensationalist way in which Crichton constructs his
plot. It seems to be written with a future Hollywood production
By the way, once the fiction is over it gets really exciting.
Crichton provides the reader with an appendix that includes
his own views on issues covered in the book and a list
of sources. So if you wanted to go to the details ...