The Genome Odyssey by Dr. Euan Angus Ashley is a wonderful ride through the world of genome sequencing. How it can help the field of science/medicine, the patient, and the patient’s families. And finally, it shines a light on the life changing impact that genomics can have. I was excited to get into to this since I have heard about the Human Genome Project over the years. Spoiler alert: it did not let me down.
Early on in the book, readers get to know Ashley’s background as he becomes interested in medical field at an early age. Also introduced are the many colleagues that joined him and their quest together to sequence genomes. Everyone got some type of introduction, so it didn’t feel like it was just random name dropping. It was the same thing with the patients too. Right off the bat, I loved that it was not overloaded with pure medical and scientific terminology. It was informative but not overly simplified. There were often brief explanations, analogies, or a short overview of the history concerning each term. Additionally, Ashley relates back to the past when researchers didn’t know much about/couldn’t figure out exactly the disease their patients were suffering from. Slowly, but surely building up to how the genome sequencing helped solve those mysteries for patients of today. This was a slower read for me, but I still enjoyed my time reading this.
In the end The Genome Odyssey was an interesting and informative read. It combined past and present medical history, historical achievements, personal and patient stories, technology, and company startups among other things. With everything that’s in it, I’d say it’s a well-rounded book. If this sounds interesting to you, I recommend checking it out.
*I received this book from Celadon Books and BookishFirst for this review.