Redesigning Life

How Genome Editing Will Transform the World

Author: John Parrington

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198766823

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 809

Since the birth of civilisation, human beings have manipulated other life-forms. We have selectively bred plants and animals for thousands of years to maximize agricultural production and cater to our tastes in pets. The observation of the creation of artificial animal and plant variants was a key stimulant for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The ability to directly engineer the genomes of organisms first became possible in the 1970s, when the gene for human insulin was introduced into bacteria to produce this protein for diabetics. At the same time, mice were modified to produce human growth hormone, and grew huge as a result. But these were only our first tottering steps into the possibilities of genetic engineering. In the past few years, the pace of progress has accelerated enormously. We can now cut and paste genes using molecular scissors with astonishing ease, and the new technology of genome editing can be applied to practically any species of plants or animals. 'Mutation chain reaction' can be used to alter the genes of a population of pests, such as flies; as the modified creatures breed, the mutation is spread through the population, so that within a few generations the organism is almost completely altered. At the same time, scientists are also beginning to synthesize new organisms from scratch. These new technologies hold much promise for improving lives. Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients, by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing could be used to engineer species with increased food output, and the ability to thrive in challenging climates. New bacterial forms may be used to generate energy. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas and potential dangers, pressing issues that are already upon us given the speed of scientific developments. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring - and would designer babies be limited to the rich? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic lifeforms into complex ecosystems? John Parrington explains the nature and possibilities of these new scientific developments, which could usher in a brave, new world. We must rapidly come to understand its implications if we are to direct its huge potential to the good of humanity and the planet.
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Modern Prometheus

Author: Jim Kozubek

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108454623

Category: Law

Page: 478

View: 5606

This book tells the dramatic story of Crispr and the potential impact of this gene-editing technology.
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The Deeper Genome

Why There Is More to the Human Genome Than Meets the Eye

Author: John Parrington

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198813090

Category: Human genome

Page: 400

View: 2634

Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought -- just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated 'junk'? Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.
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Human Genome Editing

Science, Ethics, and Governance

Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,National Academy of Medicine,National Academy of Sciences,Committee on Human Gene Editing: Scientific, Medical, and Ethical Considerations

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309452880

Category: Medical

Page: 328

View: 6975

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led many policymakers and stakeholders to express concern about whether appropriate systems are in place to govern these technologies and how and when the public should be engaged in these decisions. Human Genome Editing considers important questions about the human application of genome editing including: balancing potential benefits with unintended risks, governing the use of genome editing, incorporating societal values into clinical applications and policy decisions, and respecting the inevitable differences across nations and cultures that will shape how and whether to use these new technologies. This report proposes criteria for heritable germline editing, provides conclusions on the crucial need for public education and engagement, and presents 7 general principles for the governance of human genome editing.
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GMO Sapiens

The Life-Changing Science of Designer Babies

Author: Paul Knoepfler

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN: 981466703X

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 3282

' Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) including plants and the foods made from them, are a hot topic of debate today, but soon related technology could go much further and literally change what it means to be human. Scientists are on the verge of being able to create people who are GMOs. Should they do it? Could we become a healthier and ''better'' species or might eugenics go viral leading to a real, new world of genetic dystopia? GMO Sapiens tackles such questions by taking a fresh look at the cutting-edge biotech discoveries that have made genetically modified people possible. Bioengineering, genomics, synthetic biology, and stem cells are changing sci-fi into reality before our eyes. This book will capture your imagination with its clear, approachable writing style. It will draw you into the fascinating discussion of the life-changing science of human genetic modification. Contents:An Introduction to Playing GodThe Birth and Explosive Growth of GMOsHuman CloningBuild-a-Baby Better via GeneticsDIY Guide to Creating GMO SapiensEugenics and TranshumanismCultural Views on Human Genetic ModificationGMO Sapiens Today and Tomorrow Readership: Undergraduate biology majors, graduate biology majors, non-experts interested in GMOs, biologists and teenagers interested in cloning and human genetic modification. Key Features:Books on this hot new topic of creating GMO people are rare, tend to be out-of-date, or have narrow topic rangesThe goal of this book is to educate and entertain an educated lay audience about human genetic modificationKeywords:GMO;Genetically Modified Organism;GMO Sapien;Cloning;Genomics;Designer Babies;Mitochondrial Transfer;Stem Cells;Infertility "What I find troubling, exciting but scary, is that I find myself agreeing with an undertone, I do not support human germline genetic modification but with all the new information and perspectives available to me I have found myself questioning my own views and will be watching any developments with a fascinated interest I would rather not admit to." The NODE '
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One in a Billion

The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine

Author: Kathleen Gallagher,Mark Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451661320

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 4745

The breathtaking story of a young boy with a never-before-seen disease, and the doctors who take a bold step into the future of medicine to save him—based on the authors’ Pulitzer Prize–winning reporting. In this landmark medical narrative, in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher chronicle the story of Nic Volker, the Wisconsin boy at the center of a daring breakthrough in medicine—a complete gene sequencing to discover the cure for an otherwise undiagnosable illness. At just two years old, Nic experienced a searing pain that signaled the awakening of a new and deadly disease, one that would hurl Nic and his family up against the limits of modern medicine. For years, through false starts and failed cures, Nic holds on to life, buoyed up by his mother’s fierce drive to get him the care he needs. But when even the world’s experts are stumped by Nic’s illness, his doctors come up with a radical, long-shot plan: a step into the unknown. The next major scientific frontier, following the completion of the Human Genome Project, was to figure out how to use our new knowledge to save lives—to bring genomic or personalized medicine into reality. It’s a quest that is undertaken by researchers around the world. But it is only when geneticist Howard Jacob hears about young Nic that the finish line finally comes into sight: It’s no longer a race to make history. It’s a race to save this boy’s life. One in a Billion is an unforgettable tale of the lives that converged to launch a medical revolution. As pioneering geneticist Mary-Claire King pronounced upon learning Nic’s story: “It was as if one had heard about Case Zero of AIDS and the cure, all at once.”
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A Crack in Creation

The New Power to Control Evolution

Author: Jennifer Doudna,Samuel Sternberg

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9781784702762

Category:

Page: 304

View: 4154

A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all. It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends. Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? The future of humankind - and of all life on Earth - is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
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The Body Builders

Inside the Science of the Engineered Human

Author: Adam Piore

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062347160

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 5741

Fareed Zakaria GPS Book of the Week Weaving together vivid storytelling and groundbreaking science, The Body Builders explores the current revolution in human augmentation, which is helping us to triumph over the limitations and constraints we have long accepted as an inevitable part of being human For millennia, humans have tried—and often failed—to master nature and transcend our limits. But this has started to change. The new scientific frontier is the human body: the greatest engineers of our generation have turned their sights inward, and their work is beginning to revolutionize mankind. In The Body Builders, Adam Piore takes us on a fascinating journey into the field of bioengineering—which can be used to reverse engineer, rebuild, and augment human beings—and paints a vivid portrait of the people at its center. Chronicling the ways new technology has retooled our physical expectations and mental processes, Piore visits people who have regrown parts of their fingers and legs in the wake of terrible traumas, tries on a muscle suit that allows him to lift ninety pounds with his fingertips, dips into the race to create “Viagra for the brain,” and shadows the doctors trying to give mute patients the ability to communicate telepathically. As science continues to lay bare the mysteries of human performance, it is helping us to see—and exist—above our expectations. The Body Builders will take readers beyond the headlines and the hype to introduce them to the inner workings and the outer reaches of our bodies and minds, and explore how new developments are changing, and will forever change, what is possible for humankind.
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Evolving Ourselves

Redesigning the Future of Humanity - One Gene at a Time

Author: Juan Enriquez,Steve Gullans

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143108344

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 8175

"Futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution for all species--sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example: What if life forms are limited only by the bounds of our imagination? Are designer babies and pets, de-extinction, even entirely newspecies fair game?; As humans, animals, and plants become ever more resistant to disease and aging, what will become the leading causes of death?; Man-machine interfaces may allow humans to live much longer. What will happen when we transfer parts of our 'selves' into clones, into stored cells and machines? Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. Future humans, perhaps a more diverse, resilient, gentler, and intelligent species, may become better caretakers of the planet--but only if we make the right choices now."--Provided by publisher.
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Biocode

The New Age of Genomics

Author: Dawn Field,Neil Davies

Publisher: American Chemical Society

ISBN: 0199687757

Category: Science

Page: 196

View: 2173

The living world runs on genomic software - what Dawn Field and Neil Davies call the 'biocode' - the sum of all DNA on Earth. In Biocode, they tell the story of a new age of scientific discovery: the growing global effort to read and map the biocode, and what that might mean for the future. The structure of DNA was identified in 1953, and the whole human genome was mapped by 2003. Since then the new field of genomics has mushroomed and is now operating on an industrial scale. Genomes can now be sequenced rapidly and increasingly cheaply. The genomes of large numbers of organisms from mammals to microbes, have been mapped. Getting your genome sequenced is becoming affordable for many. You too can check paternity, find out where your ancestors came from, or whether you are at risk of some diseases. Some check out the pedigree of their pets, while others turn genomes into art. A stray hair is enough to crudely reconstruct the face of the owner. From reading to constructing: the first steps to creating artificial life have already been taken. Some may find the rapidity of developments, and the potential for misuse, alarming. But they also open up unprecedented possibilities. The ability to read DNA has changed how we view ourselves and understand our place in nature. From the largest oceans, to the insides of our guts, we are able to explore the biosphere as never before, from the genome up. Sequencing technology has made the invisible world of microbes visible, and biodiversity genomics is revealing whole new worlds within us and without. The findings are transformational: we are all ecosystems now. Already the first efforts at 'barcoding' entire ecological communities and creating 'genomic observatories' have begun. The future, the authors argue, will involve biocoding the entire planet.
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A Crack in Creation

Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution

Author: Jennifer A. Doudna,Samuel H. Sternberg

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544716965

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 3194

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize One of Science News’ Favorite Books of the Year “Required reading for every concerned citizen.” — New York Review of Books “The future is in our hands as never before, and this book explains the stakes like no other.” — George Lucas Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. That is, until 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the gene-editing tool CRISPR—a revolutionary new technology that she helped create—to make heritable changes in human embryos. The cheapest, simplest, most effective way of manipulating DNA ever known, CRISPR may well give us the cure to HIV, genetic diseases, and some cancers. Yet even the tiniest changes to DNA could have myriad, unforeseeable consequences—to say nothing of the ethical and societal repercussions of intentionally mutating embryos to create “better” humans. Writing with fellow researcher Sam Sternberg, Doudna shares the thrilling story of her discovery and describes the enormous responsibility that comes with the power to rewrite the code of life. “An essential start to educating the public . . . reveal[s] the complex, interlocking, and thoroughly international nature of today’s bioscience.” —Los Angeles Review of Books “An invaluable account . . . We owe Doudna several times over.” — Guardian
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Synthetic

How Life Got Made

Author: Sophia Roosth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644046X

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 1526

In the final years of the twentieth century, emigres from mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science resolved that if the aim of biology was to understand life, then making life would yield better theories than experimentation. Sophia Roosth, a cultural anthropologist, takes us into the world of these self-named synthetic biologists who, she shows, advocate not experiment but manufacture, not reduction but construction, not analysis but synthesis. Roosth reveals how synthetic biologists make new living things in order to understand better how life works. What we see through her careful questioning is that the biological features, theories, and limits they fasten upon are determined circularly by their own experimental tactics. This is a story of broad interest, because the active, interested making of the synthetic biologists is endemic to the sciences of our time."
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DNA Nanoscience

From Prebiotic Origins to Emerging Nanotechnology

Author: Kenneth Douglas

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1315351404

Category: Science

Page: 456

View: 9433

DNA Nanoscience: From Prebiotic Origins to Emerging Nanotechnology melds two tales of DNA. One is a look at the first 35 years of DNA nanotechnology to better appreciate what lies ahead in this emerging field. The other story looks back 4 billion years to the possible origins of DNA which are shrouded in mystery. The book is divided into three parts comprised of 15 chapters and two Brief Interludes. Part I includes subjects underpinning the book such as a primer on DNA, the broader discipline of nanoscience, and experimental tools used by the principals in the narrative. Part II examines the field of structural DNA nanotechnology, founded by biochemist/crystallographer Nadrian Seeman, that uses DNA as a construction material for nanoscale structures and devices, rather than as a genetic material. Part III looks at the work of physicists Noel Clark and Tommaso Bellini who found that short DNA (nanoDNA) forms liquid crystals that act as a structural gatekeeper, orchestrating a series of self-assembly processes using nanoDNA. This led to an explanation of the polymeric structure of DNA and of how life may have emerged from the prebiotic clutter.
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Evolving Ourselves

Redesigning the Future of Humanity--One Gene at a Time

Author: Juan Enriquez,Steve Gullans

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698174984

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 8716

“We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands.” Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? How will gene-editing technologies like CRISPR steer the course of human evolution? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species—or several? In Evolving Ourselves, futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example: • Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014. What’s more, there’s evidence that other species, from pasture-fed horses to lab animals to house cats, are also getting fatter. • As reported by U.S. government agencies, the rate of autism rose by 131 percent from 2001 to 2010, an increase that cannot be attributed simply to increases in diagnosis rates. • Three hundred years ago, almost no one with a serious nut allergy lived long enough to reproduce. Today, despite an environment in which food allergies have increased by 50 percent in just over a decade, 17 million Americans who suffer from food allergies survive, thrive, and pass their genes and behaviors on to the next generation. • In the pre-Twinkie era, early humans had quite healthy mouths. As we began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Today the consequences are evident not only in our teeth but throughout our bodies and minds. Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue that we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. New advances in biotechnology help us mitigate the cruel forces of natural selection, from saving prematurely born babies to gene therapies for sickle cell anemia and other conditions. As technology like CRISPR enables us to take control of our genes, we will be able to alter our own species and many others—a good thing, given that our eventual survival will require space travel and colonization, enabled by a fundamental redesign of our bodies. Future humans could become great caretakers of the planet, as well as a more diverse, more resilient, gentler, and more intelligent species—but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth. From the Hardcover edition.
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Life at the Speed of Light

From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

Author: J. Craig Venter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143125907

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 8338

The author of A Life Decoded explains how his team's achievement with sequencing the human genome has launched an important age of biological research, revealing a growing potential for enabling humans to adapt and evolve for long-term survival and environmental improvement.
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Crispr Technology

The Revolutionary Breakthrough for Genetics & Evolution

Author: Paul F. Kisak

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781548451516

Category:

Page: 478

View: 402

CRISPR is an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats which are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences. These play a key role in a bacterial defense system and form the basis of a genome editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9 that allows permanent modification of genes within organisms. In a palindromic repeat, the sequence of nucleotides is the same in both directions. Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to foreign DNA (e.g., a virus or plasmid). Small clusters of cas (CRISPR-associated system) genes are located next to CRISPR sequences. The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages that provides a form of acquired immunity. RNA harboring the spacer sequence helps Cas proteins recognize and cut exogenous DNA. Other RNA-guided Cas proteins cut foreign RNA. CRISPRs are found in approximately 40% of sequenced bacterial genomes and 90% of sequenced archaea. A simple version of the CRISPR/Cas system, CRISPR/Cas9, has been modified to edit genomes. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added. The Cas9-gRNA complex corresponds with the CAS III crRNA complex in the above diagram. CRISPR/Cas genome editing techniques have many potential applications, including medicine and crop seed enhancement. The use of CRISPR/Cas9-gRNA complex for genome editing was the AAAS's choice for breakthrough of the year in 2015. Bioethical concerns have been raised about the prospect of using CRISPR for germline editing. This book is designed to be a state of the art, superb academic reference work and provide an overview of the topic and give the reader a structured knowledge to familiarize yourself with the topic at the most affordable price possible. The accuracy and knowledge is of an international viewpoint as the edited articles represent the inputs of many knowledgeable individuals and some of the most current knowledge on the topic, based on the date of publication.
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Like a Virgin

How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex

Author: Aarathi Prasad

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1780740670

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2337

Most cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man. Is this just a myth, or could virgin birth become the way we make babies in the future? In Like a Virgin, biologist Aarathi Prasad explores inconceivable ideas about conception, from the “Jesus Christ” lizard’s ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the hunt for a real-life virgin mother among geneticists in the 1950s. Prasad then transports us to the maverick laboratories that today are inventing the equivalent of “non-sexual selection”, from egg-fertilizing computer chips to artificial wombs for men. This adventurous romp to the frontiers of reproductive science will forever change the way you think about sex and parenthood. Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and science writer. She has appeared on television and radio, including as host of the BBC documentary “The Quest for a Virgin Birth,” and written for publications such as Wired, New Scientist, and The Guardian. A single mother, she previously worked in research genetics at Imperial College, London. This is her first book.
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The Power Paradox

How We Gain and Lose Influence

Author: Dacher Keltner

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698195590

Category: Psychology

Page: 208

View: 7793

A revolutionary and timely reconsideration of everything we know about power. Celebrated UC Berkeley psychologist Dr. Dacher Keltner argues that compassion and selflessness enable us to have the most influence over others and the result is power as a force for good in the world. Power is ubiquitous—but totally misunderstood. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, Dr. Dacher Keltner presents the very idea of power in a whole new light, demonstrating not just how it is a force for good in the world, but how—via compassion and selflessness—it is attainable for each and every one of us. It is taken for granted that power corrupts. This is reinforced culturally by everything from Machiavelli to contemporary politics. But how do we get power? And how does it change our behavior? So often, in spite of our best intentions, we lose our hard-won power. Enduring power comes from empathy and giving. Above all, power is given to us by other people. This is what we all too often forget, and it is the crux of the power paradox: by misunderstanding the behaviors that helped us to gain power in the first place we set ourselves up to fall from power. We abuse and lose our power, at work, in our family life, with our friends, because we've never understood it correctly—until now. Power isn't the capacity to act in cruel and uncaring ways; it is the ability to do good for others, expressed in daily life, and in and of itself a good thing. Dr. Keltner lays out exactly—in twenty original "Power Principles"—how to retain power; why power can be a demonstrably good thing; when we are likely to abuse power; and the terrible consequences of letting those around us languish in powerlessness.
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