This book is based on a meeting and symposium by acknowledged eminent genetic experts who were convened by the Councils of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine in October 1986. The purpose was to delineate the level of the science of gene therapy, additional technical difficulties to be mastered, and the public policy process needed prior to any efforts to apply gene therapy. The symposium title was "Human Somatic Cell Gene Therapy: Prospects for Treating Inherited Diseases." This book summarizes the presentations at the meeting and subsequent workshop, and the author provides acknowledgment of the contributions of each of the principal speakers at the conclusion of each chapter.
This small volume is extremely well written, and the reader should not be deterred by the minimal, initial melodramatic approach, which might have been designed to capture the attention of nonprofessional persons, eg, "The baby's caesarean birth—on December