Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen Essay

Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen Essay

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Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen

In Remaking Eden, Lee M. Silver asks three central questions: Who controls life? What
counts as life? And what will human life look like in the future? The question Silver does not ask is
whether or not human life as we now know and define it will change. Silver sees the advance of
genetic engineering as inevitable, due to consumer demand for it as a technology and the unrelenting
curiosity of scientists. Power resides in science, according to Silver, and that power is “enormous.”
In the closing chapter to Remaking Eden, entitled “Tomorrow’s Children,” he recounts how “a single
eccentric scientist named Kary Mullis” obliterated all “preconceived notions of scientific
limitations” with his invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction or “PCR” (240). As Silver describes
it:
More than any other technique invented during the twentieth century, PCR has changed
the course of the biological and medical sciences. In addition to the enormous power
that it added to gene discovery and analysis . . . PCR has made it possible to obtain rapid
genetic profiles not only on humans but other animals and plants as well, with an
enormous impact on both agriculture and environmental science. PCR has also had an
enormous impact on forensics with its power to provide genetic profiles on even single
hairs left behind at the scene of a crime. And PCR has provided us with the ability to
look back into the past, to demonstrate that skeletons found buried in an isolated
Siberian town really did belong to the last Russian Czar and his family, and much further
back to derive genetic profiles on insects and plants that have been extinct for millions
of years [emphases added]. (241)
For all his sc...


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...st 2005
.

Kakmi, Dmetri. “The Mystery of Being in Gattaca.” Australian Screen Education 35 (2004): 88-90.

Communications and Mass Media Complete. EBSCO Databases DuBois Library, UMass
Amherst. 12 August 2005
.

Lemonick, Michael D. “Cloning Classics.” Time 8 Nov. 1993: 70. Expanded Academic ASAP. InfoTrac.
DuBois Library, UMass Amherst. 12 August 2005 .

Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American
Family. 1997. New York: Perennial-Harper, 2002.

Vergano, Dan, and Susan Wloszczyna. “Genetics Take Starring Role on Silver Screen.” USA Today
17 June 2002. 12 August 2005 genetics-movies.htm>.

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