... serves as an entertaining and impressively comprehensive field guide to the rapidly evolving world of genetic testing. Strap on your seat belt, because this is not your gray-haired father’s harmless hobby. At times it reads like an Agatha Christie mystery with twists and red herrings. But it is also a philosophy book and an ethics treatise, with a touch of true crime. It wrestles with some of the biggest questions in life: Who are we? What is family? Are we nature, nurture or both? ... Copeland walks the reader through how genetic testing works, with just enough detail to leave you confident in the results (seriously, this is how schools ought to teach biology). But even if 20 pages later you’ve forgotten the difference between autosomal and mitochondrial testing, you will be able to follow along without any trouble ... Like any good reporter, Copeland casts her net wide when looking for sources to interview ... At times reading this book, you get the sense that we are on the edge of some brave new world. It’s exciting, and a little frightening too. Even if you think (like everyone does) that your family tree holds no uncomfortable surprises, Copeland will make you ponder just how much stock we put into our genetic heritage.
... fascinating ... Ms. Plebuch’s effort to solve the mystery of her father’s life makes for fascinating reading. She takes courses in the science of DNA testing. She compiles spreadsheets of data. Her growing expertise is critical to her quest. Even more crucial is her ability to elicit the sympathy and participation of people who are biologically related but utterly unknown to her. By helping her understand the changing narrative of her life, they write themselves into her story.
Copeland uses fascinating stories of family discoveries to illustrate the science behind genetic connections and to discuss the ways bioethical considerations have not kept pace with the improvement of the kits, including privacy concerns with how genetic databases are used by law enforcement ... Highly recommended for popular science and memoir fans, as well as readers with an interest in genealogy.
... fascinating ... impeccably researched ... the author thoughtfully probes the ethical dangers of genetic testing, including conflicting privacy rights, an essentialist view of race, unexpected medical results, and DNA databases being used in crime-solving ... Up-to-the-minute science meets the philosophy of identity in a poignant, engaging debut book.