Whether we are looking into Iceland, the United States, or another lava land somewhere in between, a book about promising genomics in the latter years of the twentieth century—a book about speculation, capital, DNA, and other volatile, lava-like substances; a book about new technologies, new sciences, and new organisms, and the new scientist-celebrities who attempted to turn all these novelties into profitable businesses; a book about volatile combinations of facts and fictions in science and literature; a book about nationalism in an era of globalization; a book about privacy and its shadows, as medical records and genetic information become exchangeable across numerous boundaries—such a book about promising genomics in lava land could hardly begin with a more appropriate document than a press release. If you were living in any lava land other than that most famous one, Iceland, the first time you heard about deCODE Genetics might have been on February 2, 1998, when Roche and DeCode Genetics Inc. of Iceland announced a collaboration in genetic diseases research. This book tells the story of deCODE Genetics.
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