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The Lost Family

How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are

Libby Copeland

$39.99

Hardback

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Abrams
01 May 2020
A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives You swab your cheek or spit in a vial, then send it away to a lab somewhere. Weeks later you get a report that might tell you where your ancestors came from or if you carry certain genetic risks. Or the report could reveal long-buried family secrets and upend your entire sense of identity. Soon a lark becomes an obsession, a relentless drive to find answers to questions at the core of your being, like Who am I? and Where did I come from? Welcome to the age of home genetic testing. In The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. She explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomesa thoroughly modern genetic detective story. Gripping and masterfully told, The Lost Family is a spectacular book on a big, timely subject.
By:   Libby Copeland
Imprint:   Abrams
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 161mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   530g
ISBN:   9781419743009
ISBN 10:   1419743007
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   01 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Libby Copeland is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Washington Post, New York magazine, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and many other publications. A 2010 media fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Copeland was a reporter and editor at the Post for 11 years.

Reviews for The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are

A compellingly readable narrative that takes us down the rabbit hole of modern personal genomics. Libby Copeland brings a gripping story from the front lines of genealogy and genomics. --Razib Khan The Insitome Institute Not long ago, the idea of sequencing your DNA was as plausible as booking a trip to Jupiter. Now we give each other DNA tests as holiday gifts. As tens of millions of people look at their genes and link them to their ancestry, this science is having a profound impact on our society as a whole. It is reuniting relatives, breaking up families, and sending criminals to jail. The Lost Family is a deeply reported, deeply humane exploration of our ongoing redefinition of our identity and our kinships. --Carl Zimmer author of She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity So many families have been touched--and will continue to be touched--by the secrets unearthed by home genetic testing. We are in an epidemic with few signposts, little to guide us as we contend with the unintended consequences brought upon us by scientific advancement. The Lost Family is an urgently necessary, powerful book that addresses one of the most complex social and bioethical issues of our time. --Dani Shapiro author of Inheritance The Lost Family is a fascinating exploration of the mysteries ignited by DNA genealogy testing--from the intensely personal and concrete to the existential and unsolvable. In the world Copeland's 'seekers' are exploring, 'Who am I?' becomes a mystery more intricate and more crucial than any novel's 'Whodunit?' Copeland deftly weaves together individual stories, technical explanations and sociological discussion to make a book that's both gripping and deeply thought-provoking. --Tana French


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