Author: Euan Angus Ashley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: I loved the patient stories in this book and am excited to find a popular science book explaining the details of precision medicine.
If you’ve ever been interested in the potential of genome sequencing for personalized medicine, I highly recommend this book. Stanford professor and author, Dr. Euan Ashley, covers the development of sequencing technology in great detail. He also includes many fascinating, moving cases of patients who have been helped by precision medicine. Then he wraps up with a look to possible future developments in the field.
This book is very close to covering exactly what I do for work (although I’m on the research side, not in medicine). In some ways, that makes me a great reader and reviewer for this book. I can tell you that it contains accurate information with a high degree of confidence. Personally, it also made it more fun to read that I’ve met some of the people mentioned and heard of many others. On the other hand, I don’t feel confident in my ability to tell if concepts were explained clearly enough for any reader. I know I admired some of the analogies the author used and I think everything is explained well. I already knew many of the concepts in this book though, so it’s probably easier for me to follow than for other readers. I also found it a little more difficult to enjoy this during a week when I was already quite busy with work!
I thought the level of detail the author went into was quite impressive. He didn’t avoid explaining technical concepts, which were necessary for him to tell some incredible stories. While the technical bits make me excited to be able to recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about what I do, the patient stories were my favorite parts. The research descriptions included some good people stories, but nothing so moving as hearing about how scientific advances improved quality and/or length of life for specific patients. For that reason, I would also recommend this book to people who enjoy medical memoirs, although only if you’re up for a healthy does of science concepts as well. And this is definitely the book I’ll reach for in the future if someone wants to understand how sequencing technology can impact health and medicine.