A leading scientist has illustrated the recent and dramatic breakthroughs in our understanding of the body in a new book published today (July 1st).
In The Secret Body by Vintage Books, Professor Dan Davis of the University of Manchester shares how new biology is opening up groundbreaking opportunities for interfering with the human body, from our brain and genes to our microbiome and immune system.
Acclaimed by Alice Roberts, Bill Bryson and Brian Cox, the book argues that this new revolution will fundamentally change the experience of being human in the coming century.
Radical possibilities, according to the immunologist Prof. Davis, were realized thanks to decades of work by scientists.
Her groundbreaking discoveries are changing our understanding of how the body works, what it is capable of, and how we could manipulate it, he says.
For example, he describes how we can now find out years in advance whether we are likely to get certain types of cancer.
And how biology today can give us a tailor-made understanding of our genes, organs and cells and produce drugs that can improve our perception and acquire new skills.
He said, “’Everything starts in human biology. Radically new insights are emerging in our understanding of cells, embryos, the human brain, the microbiome, genes and much more. I feel like human biology is just like physics at the beginning of the 20th century, when Einstein and others opened up quantum physics.
“Today, our understanding of the human body is incomparable to what it was a few years ago, and we will live with the consequences of it for decades. We can already understand and manipulate each other in a way that nobody could have dreamed of just a few decades ago. “
He added, “These cross-border opportunities will give unprecedented power over health, child development, our cognitive and physical abilities, and will affect every aspect of our lives and how we think about ourselves.”
“And we will all be faced with previously unthinkable decisions, with consequences that we do not yet have to understand.”
A How To Academy, discussion with Robin Ince will take place on the day of the book launch on July 1st. Public lecture at the Royal Institution, July 6th
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