Geneticist to write book on staying well

Dr. Francis Collins, a leading geneticist and author of the best-selling “The Language of God,” is working on a book that promises “stunning new revelations about why we get sick; what it means to be healthy; how we can prevent disease” and medical treatment.

HarperCollins will release “Body Language: How Personalized Medicine Will Change Your Life” in Fall 2009, the publisher announced Tuesday. Dr. Collins will write about “medical dilemmas his own family has experienced, among stories of patients from across the country, in every age group,” according to HarperCollins. “Modern genetic research has revealed that we all are born with glitches in our DNA, glitches which have implications both for potential future disease and for day-to-day choices while we are still “healthy.” How much should you learn about your own glitches? How much should doctors be able to learn? The answers are shifting daily. This is the book that will explain it for all of us.”

Collins, who helped lead the breakthrough of understanding human genetic code — and found common ground between the belief in God and science — resigned last summer as head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. Writing a book was one reason he cited for stepping down. The geneticist helped translate the complexities of DNA into everyday vernacular. Collins led the Human Genome Project that, along with a competing private company, mapped the genetic code — or “the book of human life,” as he famously called it.

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