Rapture by Brian Alexander
How Biotech Became The New Religion

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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.

About Brian Alexander

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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.
Published October 7, 2003 by Basic Books. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Alexander, who covered biotechnology for Wired magazine, is at ease discussing the complexities of scientific research and is just as interested in the culture surrounding biotechnology as the biotechnology itself.

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