In the fall of 2005, leading scientists from the National Cancer Institute announced the beginning of the cancer genome atlas project, a large-scale endeavour to map every gene implicated in cancer and the first step toward development of new therapies for treating this still baffling disease. This spin-off of the human genome project is only the latest exciting research advance in a decades-long quest to fully understand the biochemistry of the human body and thereby gain insights into the secrets of health, disease, and ageing. Biochemist and veteran lab researcher Frank H Stephenson tells the compelling story of how scientists on many fronts are succeeding in the battle against disease. With a gift for making the complexities of genetics and biochemistry understandable to the average reader, Stephenson offers a fascinating tour of the mechanisms of our body and the therapeutic techniques that are gaining in sophistication and effectiveness every year. From heart disease to AIDS and cancer, he helps you understand how the tools of biotechnology are being used to combat our most common afflictions. Stephenson examines a wide variety of health threats and illnesses: HIV infection, the many forms of cancer, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer's, obesity, and even erectile dysfunction. Each is discussed in terms of its root cause and treatment in plain, jargon-free language that not only educates but also entertains. This is the ideal primer on the biotechnology revolution for the layperson. Stephenson offers many insights into both the diseases that destroy health and the great promises that biotechnology offers for preserving and prolonging a healthy life.