Missing labels when using arcpy.mapping.ExportToPDF

Missing labels when using arcpy.mapping.ExportToPDF

I have a script that is run on a daily basis to export a folder of MXDs to PDFs and I have noticed some peculiar behavior. Many, but not all of the PDFs will be missing some labels or their label orientation gets changed. These errors do not occur when I manually export from arcmap. In an attempt to isolate the problem, I wrote a code snippet to simply export a PDF and it behaved normally, no errors.

Is there a reason that stepping through a folder of MXDs would cause this error?

I have included the code below.

import arcpy import os arcpy.env.workspace = r"fs1sharedGISMap_DocumentsNightlyUpdates" ws = arcpy.env.workspace outPDF = r"fs1sharedGISMap_DocumentsNightlyUpdatesPDF" MXDlist = arcpy.ListFiles("*.mxd") for MXD in MXDlist: root = os.path.splitext(MXD)[0] title = ''+ root + ".pdf" tempMXD = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(os.path.join(ws,MXD)) arcpy.mapping.ExportToPDF(tempMXD, outPDF+title, image_quality="BETTER") del tempMXD

I was having a similar issue. When I switch the Parser on the label expression to JSCript the labels exported correctly.

Are the map extents the same when exporting manually from Arcmap as they are exporting using arcpy? Slight differences in extent can have knock-on effects across the map resulting in some labels being placed differently or removed.

It might be a good idea to zoom to a bookmark before exporting, or use layout view so the extent is the same every time.

Label Images to count pipe using yoloV4

I am custom training my model to detect the pipes in image with final task to count number of pipes , my question is how can I better label my images , the current trained model is not working on expected lines, so I am thinking of labelling it better so my question a) Should I label the background as separate class Stand/bars on which this pipe reside as separate class (looks very tedious will do if it helps) b) I also see current model detects pipes in background which I am not interested what is the best practice to mask them(remove from current image ---current labelled images doesn't label them)

To summarize at the moment I have created bounding boxes like this and trained with yolo-tiny and yolo.conv.137 with not so great results advice me on what else I can do for these images

Side Note : HoughCircles is not helping my cause as I cannot tune parameters every time so I prefer yolov4/v5

Current model: trained to predict single class pipes

Ines Arous, Jie Yang, Mourad Khayati, and Philippe Cudré-Mauroux. “Peer Grading the Peer Reviews: A Dual-Role Approach for Lightening the Scholarly Paper Review Process.” In Proceedings of the Web Conference (WWW 2021). Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2021.

Ines Arous, Ljiljana Dolamic, Jie Yang, Akansha Bhardwaj, Giuseppe Cuccu, and Philippe Cudré-Mauroux. “MARTA: Leveraging Human Rationales for Explainable Text Classification.” In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2021). A Virtual Conference, 2021.


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Published on: 6 January 2021

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Reviewer acknowledgement

Malaria Journal would like to thank the following for their assistance with peer-review of manuscripts for the journal in 2012.

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Content type: Reviewer acknowledgement

Published on: 17 April 2013

Analysis of sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance-conferring mutations of Plasmodium falciparum from Mozambique reveals the absence of the dihydrofolate reductase 164L mutant

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Citation: Malaria Journal 2009 8 :36

Published on: 27 February 2009


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Alberta's Capital Region Board (CRB) was officially established on April 15, 2008 and consists of mayors and reeves from the 24 municipalities in the Alberta Capital Region. The board was created to jointly develop a long-range regional growth management plan (Capital Region Growth Plan)

The Capital Region Board Regulation AR49/2008 required that the Board complete a Growth Plan with four key components: land use, intermunicipal transit, housing, and geographic information services (GIS). The Growth Plan fulfills the requirements of the Regulation, and provides a vision for the future of the Capital Region. The Plan also contains implementation strategies for each of the four key components.

The Capital Region Growth Plan: Growing Forward was submitted to the Honourable Ray Danyluk, Minister of Municipal Affairs on April 2, 2009. This date marked the successful completion of an unprecedented undertaking by the municipal leaders of the participating member municipalities of the Capital Region Board. Having demonstrated commitment and leadership throughout the process of developing the Capital Region Growth Plan, they now look forward to ensuring the Capital Region is a model for regional co-operation in Alberta. On June 11, 2009 a preliminary response was provided by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and resulted in two addendums submitted on October 31, 2009 and December 31, 2009.
Capital Region Growth Plan
The regional plan will deal with four priorities:
Regional land-use planning
To identify residential, commercial, industrial and protected areas, and core infrastructure including roads, rail, pipelines, transit and utility corridors
Inter-municipal transit
To plan a public transportation network to include future high-growth areas
Geographic information services
To develop an electronic system for municipalities to share planning and geographic information
Affordable housing
To determine the location and quantity of low-income and market-affordable housing required
The Board has also been discussing other issues of common interest to the Region, such as, waste management and economic development.
24 communities growing together
The Capital Region Board consists of mayors and reeves from the 24 municipalities in the Alberta Capital Region.

Strathcona County representatives on Capital Region Board
Elected officials

Mayor Linda Osinchuk
In addition to her role as a Capital Region Board member, Mayor Osinchuk also serves on the CRB's Governance Committee, Land Use Planning Committee and Advocacy & Communications Committee.

Councillor Peter Wlodarczak
Councillor Wlodarczak serves on the CRB's Housing Committee and the Inter-municipal Transit Committee.
Administration Board

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies&mdasha magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to &ldquoread&rdquo and &ldquowrite&rdquo our own genetic information?

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee&rsquos own family&mdashwith its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness&mdashcuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation&mdashfrom Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, &ldquoIt&rsquos hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion&hellipAn extraordinary achievement.&rdquo Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or &ldquowrite&rdquo the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

  • Sales Rank: #702 in Books
  • Published on: 2016-05-17
  • Released on: 2016-05-17
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.25" h x 1.70" w x 6.12" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 608 pages Review
An Amazon Best Book of May 2016: In 2010, Siddhartha Mukherjee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Emperor of All Maladies, a &ldquobiography&rdquo of cancer. Here, he follows up with a biography of the gene&mdashand The Gene is just as informative, wise, and well-written as that first book. Mukherjee opens with a survey of how the gene first came to be conceptualized and understood, taking us through the thoughts of Aristotle, Darwin, Mendel, Thomas Morgan, and others he finishes the section with a look at the case of Carrie Buck (to whom the book is dedicated), who eventually was sterilized in 1927 in a famous American eugenics case. Carrie Buck&rsquos sterilization comes as a warning that informs the rest of the book. This is what can happen when we start tinkering with this most personal science and misunderstand the ethical implications of those tinkerings. Through the rest of The Gene, Mukherjee clearly and skillfully illustrates how the science has grown so much more advanced and complicated since the 1920s&mdashwe are developing the capacity to directly manipulate the human genome&mdashand how the ethical questions have also grown much more complicated. We could ask for no wiser, more fascinating and talented writer to guide us into the future of our human heredity than Siddhartha Mukherjee. --Chris Schluep

"This is perhaps the greatest detective story ever told&mdasha millennia-long search, led by a thousand explorers, from Aristotle to Mendel to Francis Collins, for the question marks at the center of every living cell. Like The Emperor of All Maladies, The Gene is prodigious, sweeping, and ultimately transcendent. If you&rsquore interested in what it means to be human, today and in the tomorrows to come, you must read this book." (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See)

"The Gene is a magnificent synthesis of the science of life, and forces all to confront the essence of that science as well as the ethical and philosophical challenges to our conception of what constitutes being human." (Paul Berg, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry)

"Compelling. Highly recommended." (Booklist, starred review)

&ldquoSobering, humbling, and extraordinarily rich reading from a wise and gifted writer who sees how far we have come&mdashbut how much farther far we have to go to understand our human nature and destiny.&rdquo (Kirkus, starred review)

"Mukherjee deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown. He offers insight into both the scientific process and the sociology of science. By relating familial information, Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

&ldquoA magisterial account of how human minds have laboriously, ingeniously picked apart what makes us tick. . . . [The Gene] will confirm [Mukherjee] as our era&rsquos preeminent popular historian of medicine. The Gene boats an even more ambitious sweep of human endeavor than its predecessor. . . . Mukherjee punctuates his encyclopedic investigations of collective and individual heritability, and our closing in on the genetic technologies that will transform how we will shape our own genome, with evocative personal anecdotes, deft literary allusions, wonderfully apt metaphors, and an irrepressible intellectual brio.&rdquo (Ben Dickinson, Elle)

&ldquoMagnificent&hellip. The story [of the gene] has been told, piecemeal, in different ways, but never before with the scope and grandeur that Siddhartha Mukherjee brings to his new history&hellip he views his subject panoptically, from a great and clarifying height, yet also intimately.&rdquo (James Gleick, New York Times Book Review)

&ldquoMany of the same qualities that made The Emperor of All Maladies so pleasurable are in full bloom in The Gene. The book is compassionate, tautly synthesized, packed with unfamiliar details about familiar people.&rdquo (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times)

&ldquoMukherjee&rsquos visceral and thought-provoking descriptions. clearly show what he is capable of, both as a writer and as a thinker.&rdquo (Matthew Cobb, Nature)

&ldquoHis topic is compelling. . . . And it couldn&rsquot have come at a better time.&rdquo (Courtney Humphries, Boston Globe)

"[Mukherjee] nourishes his dry topics into engaging reading, expresses abstract intellectual ideas through emotional stories . . . .[and] swaddles his medical rigor with rhapsodic tenderness, surprising vulnerability, and occasional flashes of pure poetry. . . . . With a marriage of architectural precision and luscious narrative, an eye for both the paradoxical detail and the unsettling irony, and a genius for locating the emotional truths buried in chemical abstractions, Mukherjee leaves you feeling as though you've just aced a college course for which you'd been afraid to register -- and enjoyed every minute of it." (Andrew Solomon, Washington Post)

&ldquoThe Gene is equally authoritative [to Emperor], building on extensive research and erudition, and examining the Gordian knots of genes through the prism of his own family&rsquos struggle with a disease. He renders complex science with a novelist&rsquos skill for conjuring real lives, seismic events.&rdquo (Hamilton Cain, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

&ldquoA fascinating and often sobering history of how humans came to understand the roles of genes in making us who we are&mdashand what our manipulation of those genes might mean for our future. . . . The Gene captures the scientific method&mdashquestioning, researching, hypothesizing, experimenting, analyzing&mdashin all its messy, fumbling glory, corkscrewing its way to deeper understanding and new questions.&rdquo (Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

&ldquoThis is an intimate history. . . . This is a meticulous history. . . . This is a provocative history. . . . Most of all, this is a readable history. . . . The Gene is a story that, once read, makes us far better educated to think about the profound questions that will confront us in the coming decades.&rdquo (Ron Krall, Steamboat Today)

&ldquoReading The Gene is like taking a course from a brilliant and passionate professor who is just sure he can make you understand what he&rsquos talking about. . . . The Gene is excellent preparation for all the quandaries to come.&rdquo (Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times)

&ldquoInspiring and tremendously evocative reading. . . . Like its predecessor, [The Gene] is both expansive and accessible . . . . In The Gene, Mukherjee spends most of his time looking into the past, and what he finds is consistently intriguing. But his sober warning about the future might be the book&rsquos most important contribution.&rdquo (Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicle)

&ldquoDestined to soar into the firmament of the year&rsquos must reads, to win accolades and well-deserved prizes, and to set a new standard for lyrical science writing. . . . Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee dazzled readers with his Pulitzer-winning The Emperor of All Maladies in 2010. That achievement was evidently just a warm-up for his virtuoso performance in The Gene: An Intimate History, in which he braids science, history, and memoir into an epic with all the range and biblical thunder of Paradise Lost. . . . Thanks to Dr. Mukherjee&rsquos remarkably clear and compelling prose, the reader has a fighting chance of arriving at the story of today&rsquos genetic manipulations with an actual understanding of both the immensely complicated science and the even more complicated moral questions.&rdquo� (Abigail Zuger, New York Times Science Section)

&ldquo[The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene] both beautifully navigate a sea of complicated medical information in a way that is digestible, poignant, and engaging . . . . [The Gene] is a book we all should read. I shook my head countless times while devouring it, wondering how the author&mdasha brilliant physician, scientist, writer, and Rhodes Scholar&mdashcould possibly possess so many unique talents. When I closed the book for the final time, I had the answer: Must be in the genes.&rdquo (Matt McCarthy, USA Today)

&ldquoA brilliant exploration of some of our age&rsquos most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure.&rdquo� (Coastal Current)

&ldquoDr Mukherjee uses personal experience to particularly good effect. . . . Perhaps the most powerful lesson of Dr Mukherjee&rsquos book [is]: genetics is starting to reveal how much the human race has to gain from tinkering with its genome, but still has precious little to say about how much we might lose.&rdquo� (The Economist)

&ldquoAs compelling and revealing as [The Emperor of All Maladies]. . . . On one level, The Gene is a comprehensive compendium of well-told stories with a human touch. But at a deeper level, the book is far more than a simple science history.&rdquo (Fred Bortz, Dalls Morning News)

&ldquoMukherjee is an assured, polished wordsmith . . . who displays a penchant for the odd adroit aphorism and well-placed pun. . . . A well-written, accessible, and entertaining account of one of the most important of all scientific revolutions, one that is destined to have a fundamental impact on the lives of generations to come. The Gene is an important guide to that future.&rdquo (Robin McKie, The Guardian)

About the Author
Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of�The Emperor of All�Maladies:�A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, and The Laws of Medicine. He is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013. Mukherjee is�an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher.�A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School.�He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine,�The New York Times, and Cell.�He lives in New York with his wife�and daughters. Visit his website at:

Most helpful customer reviews

188 of 201 people found the following review helpful.
"We used to think our future was in the stars. Now we know it's in our genes."
By Ash Jogalekar
Genetics is humanity and life writ large, and this book on the gene by physician and writer Siddhartha Mukherjee paints on a canvas as large as life itself. It deals with both the history of genetics and its applications in health and disease. It shows us that studying the gene not only holds the potential to transform the treatment of human disease and to feed the world&rsquos burgeoning population, but promises to provide a window into life&rsquos deepest secrets and into our very identity as human beings.

The volume benefits from Mukherjee&rsquos elegant literary style, novelist&rsquos eye for character sketches and expansive feel for human history. While there is ample explanation of the science, the focus is really on the brilliant human beings who made it all possible. The author&rsquos own troubling family history of mental illness serves as a backdrop and keeps on rearing its head like a looming, unresolved question. The story begins with a trip to an asylum to see his troubled cousin two of his uncles have also suffered from various "unravelings of the mind". This burden of personal inheritance sets the stage for many of the questions about nature, nurture and destiny asked in the pages that follow.

The book can roughly be divided into two parts. The first part is a sweeping and vivid history of genetics. The second half is a meditation on what studying the gene means for human biology and medicine.

The account is more or less chronological and this approach naturally serves the historical portion well. Mukherjee does a commendable job shedding light on the signal historical achievements of the men and women who deciphered the secret of life. Kicking off from the Greeks&rsquo nebulous but intriguing ideas on heredity, the book settles on the genetics pioneer Gregor Mendel. Mendel was an abbot in a little known town in Central Europe whose pioneering experiments on pea plants provided the first window into the gene and evolution. He discovered that discrete traits could be transmitted in statistically predictable ways from one generation to next. Darwin came tantalizingly close to discovering Mendel&rsquos ideas (the two were contemporaries), but inheritance was one of the few things he got wrong. Instead, a triumvirate of scientists rediscovered Mendel&rsquos work almost thirty years after his death and spread the word far and wide. Mendel&rsquos work shows us that genius can emerge from the most unlikely quarters one wonders how rapidly his work might have been disseminated had the Internet been around.

The baton of the gene was next picked up by Francis Galton, Darwin&rsquos cousin. Galton was the father of eugenics. Eugenics has now acquired a bad reputation, but Galton was a polymath who made important contributions to science by introducing statistics and measurements in the study of genetic differences. Many of the early eugenicists subscribed to the racial theories that were common in those days many of them were well intended if patronizing, seeking to &lsquoimprove the weak&rsquo, but they did not see the ominous slippery slope which they were on. Sadly their ideas fed into the unfortunate history of eugenics in America and Europe. Eugenics was enthusiastically supported in the United States Mukherjee discusses the infamous Supreme Court case in which Oliver Wendell Holmes sanctioned the forced sterilization of an unfortunate woman named Carrie Buck by proclaiming, &ldquoThree generations of imbeciles are enough&rdquo. Another misuse of genetics was by Trofim Lysenko who tried to use Lamarck&rsquos theories of acquired characteristics in doomed agricultural campaigns in Stalinist Russia as an absurd example, he tried to &ldquore educate&rdquo wheat using &ldquoshock therapy&rdquo. The horrific racial depredations of the Nazis which the narrative documents in some detail of course &ldquoput the ultimate mark of shame&rdquo on eugenics.

The book then moves on to Thomas Hunt Morgan&rsquos very important experiments on fruit flies. Morgan and his colleagues found a potent tool to study gene propagation in naturally occurring mutations. Mutations in specific genes (for instance ones causing changes in eye color) allowed them to track the flow of genetic material through several generations. Not only did they make the crucial discovery that genes lie on chromosomes, but they also discovered that genes could be inherited (and also segregated) in groups rather than by themselves. Mukherjee also has an eye for historical detail for example, right at the time that Morgan was experimenting on flies, Russia was experimenting with a bloody revolution. This coincidence gives Mukherjee an opening to discuss hemophilia in the Russian royal family &ndash a genetically inherited disease. A parallel discussion talks about the fusion of Darwin's and Mendel&rsquos ideas by Ronald Fisher, Theodosius Dobzhansky and others into a modern theory of genetics supported by statistical reasoning in the 40s &ndash what&rsquos called the Modern Synthesis.

Morgan and others&rsquo work paved the way to recognizing that the gene is not just some abstract, ether-like ghost which transmits itself into the next generation but a material entity. That material entity was called DNA. The scientists most important for recognizing this fact were Frederick Griffiths and Oswald Avery and Mukherjee tells their story well however I would have appreciated a fuller account of Friedrich Miescher who discovered DNA in pus bandages from soldiers. Griffiths showed that DNA can be responsible for converting non-virulent bacteria to virulent ones Avery showed that it is a distinct molecule separate from protein (a lot of people believed that proteins with their functional significance were the hereditary material).

All these events set the stage for the golden age of molecular biology, the deciphering of the structure of DNA by James Watson (to whom the quote in the title is attributed), Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and others. Many of these pioneers were inspired by a little book by physicist Erwin Schrodinger which argued that the gene could be understood using precise principles of physics and chemistry his arguments turned biology into a reductionist science. Mukherjee&rsquos account of this seminal discovery is crisp and vivid. He documents Franklin&rsquos struggles and unfair treatment as well as Watson and Crick&rsquos do-what-it-takes attitude to use all possible information to crack the DNA puzzle. As a woman in a man&rsquos establishment Franklin was in turn patronized and sidelined, but unlike Watson and Crick she was averse to building models and applying the principles of chemistry to the problem, two traits that were key to the duo&rsquos success.

The structure of DNA of course inaugurated one of the most sparkling periods in the history of intellectual thought since it immediately suggested an exact mechanism for copying the hereditary material as well as a link between DNA and proteins which are the workhorses of life. The major thread following from DNA to protein was the cracking of the genetic code which specifies a correspondence between nucleotides on a gene and the amino acids of a protein: the guiding philosophers in this effort were Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner. A parallel thread follows the crucial work of the French biologists Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod - both of whom had fought in the French resistance during World War 2 - in establishing the mechanism of gene regulation. All these developments laid the foundation for our modern era of genetic engineering.

The book devotes a great deal of space to this foundation and does so with verve and authority. It talks about early efforts to sequence the gene at Harvard and Cambridge and describes the founding of Genentech, the first company to exploit the new technology which pioneered many uses of genes for producing drugs and hormones: much of this important work was done with phages, viruses which infect bacteria. There is also an important foray into using genetics to understand embryology and human development, a topic with ponderous implications for our future. With the new technology also came new moral issues, as exemplified by the 1975 Asilomar conference which tried to hammer out agreements for the responsible use of genetic engineering. I am glad Mukherjee emphasizes these events, since their importance is only going to grow as genetic technology becomes more widespread and accessible.

These early efforts exploded on to the stage when the Human Genome Project (HGP) was announced, and that&rsquos where the first part of the book roughly ends. Beginning with the HGP, the second part mainly focuses on the medical history and implications of the gene. Mukherjee&rsquos discussion of the HGP focuses mainly on the rivalries between the scientists and the competing efforts led by Francis Collins of the NIH and Craig Venter, the maverick scientist who broke off and started his own company. This discussion is somewhat brief but it culminates in the announcement of the map of the human genome at the White House in 2000. It is clear now that this &ldquomap&rdquo was no more than a listing of components we still have to understand what the components mean. Part of that lake of ignorance was revealed by the discovery of so-called &lsquoepigenetic&rsquo elements that modify not the basic sequence of DNA but the way it&rsquos expressed. Epigenetics is an as yet ill-understood mix of gene and environment which the book describes in some detail. It&rsquos worth noting that Mukherjee&rsquos discussion of epigenetics has faced some criticism lately, especially based on his article on the topic in the New Yorker.

The book then talks about early successes in correlating genes with illness that came with the advent of the human genome and epigenome genetics has been very useful in finding determinants and drugs for diseases like sickle cell anemia, childhood leukemia, breast cancer and cystic fibrosis. Mukherjee especially has an excellent account of Nancy Wexler, the discoverer of the gene causing Huntington&rsquos disease, whose search for its origins led her to families stricken with the malady in remote parts of Venezuela. While such diseases have clear genetic determinants, as Mukherjee expounds upon at length, genetic causes for diseases like cancer, diabetes and especially the mental illness which plagues members of the author&rsquos family are woefully ill-understood, largely because they are multifactorial and suffer from weakly correlated markers. We have a long way to go before the majority of human diseases can be treated using gene-based treatment. In its latter half the book also describes attempts to link genes to homosexuality, race, IQ, temperament and gender identity. The basic verdict is that while there is undoubtedly a genetic component to all these factors, the complex interplay between genes and environment means that it&rsquos very difficult currently to tease apart influences from the two. More research is clearly needed.

The last part of the book focuses on some cutting edge research on genetics that&rsquos uncovering both potent tools for precise gene engineering as well as deep insights into human evolution. A notable section of the book is devoted to the recent discovery that Neanderthals and humans most likely interbred. Transgenic organisms, stem cells and gene therapy also get a healthy review, and the author talks about successes and failures in these areas (an account of a gene therapy trial gone wrong is poignant and rattling) as well as ethical and political questions which they raise. Finally, a new technology called CRISPR which has taken the world of science by storm gets an honorary mention: by promising to edit and propagate genes with unprecedented precision - even in the germ line - CRISPR has resurrected all the angels and demons from the history of genetics. What we decide about technologies like CRISPR today will impact what our children do tomorrow. The clock is ticking.

In a project as ambitious as this there are bound to be a few gaps. Some of the gaps left me a bit befuddled though. There are a few minor scientific infelicities: for instance Linus Pauling&rsquos structure of DNA was not really flawed because of a lack of magnesium ions but mainly because it sported a form of the phosphate groups that wouldn&rsquot exist at the marginally alkaline pH of the human body. The book&rsquos treatment of the genetic code leaves out some key exciting moments, such as when a scientific bombshell from biochemist Marshall Nirenberg disrupted a major meeting in the former Soviet Union. I also kept wondering how any discussion of DNA&rsquos history could omit the famous Meselson-Stahl experiment this experiment which very elegantly illuminated the central feature of DNA replication has been called &ldquothe most beautiful experiment in biology&rdquo. Similarly I could see no mention of Barbara McClintock whose experiments on &lsquojumping genes&rsquo were critical in understanding how genes can be turned on and off. I was also surprised to find few details on a technique called PCR without which modern genetic research would be virtually impossible: both PCR and its inventor Kary Mullis have a colorful history that would have been worth including. Similarly, details of cutting-edge sequencing techniques which have outpaced Moore&rsquos Law are also largely omitted. I understand that a 600 page history cannot include every single scientific detail, but some of these omissions seem to me to be too important to be left out.

More broadly, there is no discussion of the pros and cons of using DNA to convict criminals: that would have made for a compelling human interest story. Nor is there much exploration of using gene sequences to illuminate the &lsquotree of life&rsquo which Darwin tantalizingly pulled the veil back on: in general I would have appreciated a bigger discussion of how DNA connects us to all living creatures. There are likewise no accounts of some of the fascinating applications of DNA in archaeological investigations. Finally, and this is not his fault, the author suffers from the natural disadvantage of not being able to interview many of the pioneers of molecular biology since they aren&rsquot around any more (fortunately, Horace Freeland Judson&rsquos superb &ldquoThe Eighth Day of Creation&rdquo fills this gap: Judson got to interview almost every one of them for his book). This makes his account of science sound a bit more linear than the messy, human process that it is.

The volume ends by contemplating some philosophical questions: What are the moral and societal implications of being able to engineer genomes even in the fetal stage? How do we control the evils to which genetic technology can be put? What is natural and what isn&rsquot in the age of the artificial gene? How do we balance the relentless, almost inevitable pace of science with the human quest for responsible conduct, dignity and equality? Mukherjee leaves us with a picture of these questions as well as one of his family and their shared burden of mental illness: a mirage searching for realization, a sea of questions looking for a tiny boat filled with answers.

Overall I found &ldquoThe Gene: An Intimate History&rdquo to be beautifully written with a literary flair, and in spite of the omissions, the parts of genetic history and medicine which it does discuss are important and instructive. Its human stories are poignant, its lessons for the future pregnant with pitfalls and possibilities. Its sweeping profile of life&rsquos innermost secrets could not help but remind me of a Japanese proverb quoted by physicist Richard Feynman: &ldquoTo every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.&rdquo The gene is the ultimate key of this kind, and Mukherjee&rsquos book explores its fine contours in all their glory and tragedy. We have a choice in deciding which of these contours we want to follow.

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
The author's biggest success is in weaving a beautiful narrative. Starting with the emotionally-charged personal links to .
Gene is a must-read history book on genetics. Many accounts have been penned on Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, for instance, to make their importance known to the non-professionals. Gene fills the void for the equally important science of Genetics.

The author's biggest success is in weaving a beautiful narrative. Starting with the emotionally-charged personal links to the field to the frequent detailing of personalities of or anecdotes involving famous scientists, the subject is kept 'human'. There are abundant scientific notions to satisfy any reader picking up the book to understand the real subject matter, but not in the general bland fashion of studies-and-conclusions that tend to lose many a lay people.

The book also excels because of the simplicity with which countless exotic concepts are explained. From the notions of introns and exons to the polygenic nature of most phenotypes, the feedback from environment to gene mutation and the massive role played by non-gene factors in most our traits, the author uncovers a staggering number of interesting findings in a highly understandable manner.

Amid all this, the author keeps the focus on various moral and ethical issues. The narrative is laced with historic episodes of all kinds to emphasise the criticality of the questions confronting us as we make more scientific progress. For example, the book beautifully explains the dangers of genetic modification - which tantamounts to replacing natural selection with human selection. As professionals or parents seek to weed out certain deformities, there are genuine risks of us eliminating some important evolutionary traits mainly out of ignorance of how genes really work at this stage but also out of their possible other utilities in long future.

The biggest flaw of the book is insufficient focus on latest developments and near absence of what this science is capable of solving in coming decades. The optimists out there expect congenitally blind people to see and cancers all cured. Some expect us to be able to grow a third arm if we so choose or re-create a dinosaur in a century or so. Genetics is combined with nanotechnology, cryonics, robotics etc by many fantasizers to come up with even more fanciful theories. The author could have added a chapter or two to discuss gene therapy and other recent experiments to complete the excellent work further.

That said, a remarkable book in all aspects.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
A six star book
By Brian Hunt
Dr. Mukherjee&rsquos earlier book, The Emperor of All Maladies, a book on cancer, is on my list of all-time top ten books. His new book is also at or close to the same level: It is a six star book on a scale of one to five. Dr. Mukherjee writes beautifully and with extraordinary clarity on very difficult technical subjects, moving effortlessly from complex, detailed biochemical processes to enormous ethical issues affecting our very future as a species.

This book is a masterful story of the history of genetics, starting from Mendel and Darwin right up to the latest gene modification processes it is the clearest and most comprehensive account that I have read. But it is much more because Dr. Mukherjee introduces us to human dramas involving both researchers and patients. He also sets out the moral issues of our growing power to change the genomes not only of living people and embryos but also of descendants who have yet to be conceived.

Woven through the book is the personal story of Dr. Mukherjee&rsquos family, which has a history of schizophrenia. Two of Dr. Mukherjee&rsquos uncles and one of his first cousins suffered the devastating effects of schizophrenia and he lives with the possibility that he, too, may someday be struck down and/or have passed the disruptive genes on to his children.

This is not a lightweight book but I found it easy to read, thanks to the elegance of the writing, and totally gripping. As Dr. Mukherjee makes clear, we stand on the brink of a genetic future that has great promise and also great peril. This is an important book and deserves to be widely read.

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