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Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion

Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In California, a woman desperately hoping to usher in a new spiritual age conspires with her scientist boyfriend to clone herself. In Massachusetts, the founder of a famous biotech company strives to deliver on the apocalyptic vision of human immortality. In Arizona, an iconoclastic billionaire establishes a handful of fledgling companies promising an enhanced human future and super-long life. Meanwhile, some of the world's most renowned scientists begin speaking openly about genetically engineering people and rebuilding human bodies. The two sides are merging, and Brian Alexander takes readers to the on ramp.Alexander traces the story of William Haseltine, one of the most famous, and richest, of a new breed of biotechnology entrepreneurs. A former Harvard professor and now CEO of Human Genome Sciences, Haseltine is considered the father of "regenerative medicine." With his reputation as a biotech bad-boy and lover of controversy, he has become a high priest of the new biotech religion, looked upon by life extensionists as "a hero." Alexander examines his career and shows how little separates the science elite from the dreamers who believe a new human age is about to begin. Funny, bizarre, yet always fascinating, Rapture takes readers into the surprising stories behind cloning, stem cells, miracle drugs, and genetic engineering to explore how we got here and why we'll go where nobody thought we could.

Book News Annotation:

Ideas of a technological salvation staving off death and granting perpetual life have moved from the parlors of "bioutopian" groups of dreamers into the papers of mainstream biotechnological science. Alexander (a former contributing editor for biotechnology at Wired magazine) turns his journalist's eye on the futurist subcultures of the "bioutopians" and their interactions with mainstream science over the past century, crossing over frequently blurry lines. He also looks at the "bioluddites," suggesting that they have helped unite the former group.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


A raucous tour of the fast-fading borderland between fringe and mainstream science.

About the Author

Brian Alexander has been Wired's exclusive writer on advances in biotechnology and the evolution of the human future. His most famous story on biotechnology-a cover article which made the bold statement that human cloning was less than a year away-created a worldwide stir, launching congressional investigations, spurring media outlets such as "60 Minutes," Time, and CNN to do spin-offs, and prompting a strange race among would-be cloners. He lives in San Diego.

Table of Contents

Waiting for the rapture — The prophet — The endless frontier — Arise lazarus long! — The immortal Mr. Steinberg — Way out west — Bring on the inquisition — Water into wine — Pop! goes the rapture — The rapture rides in a limo.

Product Details

How Biotech Became The New Religion
Basic Books
Alexander, Brian
New York
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Molecular biology
Life Sciences - Biology - Molecular Biology
General science
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
vol. 4, no. 3.
Publication Date:
9.60x6.36x1.08 in. 1.26 lbs.

Related Subjects

» Science and Mathematics » Biology » Molecular

Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion
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Product details 304 pages Basic Books - English 9780738207612 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A raucous tour of the fast-fading borderland between fringe and mainstream science.
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