The Forever Fix: Book summary and reviews of The Forever Fix by Ricki Lewis

The Forever Fix

Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It

By Ricki Lewis

The Forever Fix
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012,
    336 pages.

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Book Summary

Fascinating narrative science that explores the next frontier in medicine and genetics through the very personal prism of the children and families gene therapy has touched.

Eight-year-old Corey Haas was nearly blind from a hereditary disorder when his sight was restored through a delicate procedure that made medical history.  Like something from a science fiction novel, doctors carefully injected viruses bearing healing genes into the DNA of Corey's eyes - a few days later, Corey could see, his sight restored by gene therapy.

The Forever Fix is the first book to tell the fascinating story of gene therapy: how it works, the science behind it, how patients (mostly children) have been helped and harmed, and how scientists learned from each trial to get one step closer to its immense promise, the promise of a "forever fix," - a cure that, by fixing problems at their genetic root, does not need further surgery or medication.

Told through the voices of the children and families who have been the inspiration, experimental subjects, and successes of genetic science, The Forever Fix is compelling and engaging narrative science that tells explores the future of medicine as well as the families and scientists who are breaking new ground every day.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [An] impressive, meticulously researched study of the exciting new developments in gene therapy." - Publisher's Weekly

"Exciting for the medically up-to-date." - Library Journal

"A fascinating account of groundbreaking science and the people who make it possible." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ricki Lewis gives us the inspiring story of gene therapy as told through Corey's eyes - literally. Her book delves into the challenges modern medicine faces - both in its bitter disappointments and great successes... best of all Lewis gives us a story of profound hope." - Molly Caldwell Crosby, author of The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History and Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic that Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries.

"The Forever Fix is a wonderful story told by one of our most gifted science and medical writers... Ricki Lewis explains complex biological processes in extremely understandable ways, ultimately providing crucial insights into the modeling of disease and illustrating how gene therapy can treat and even potentially cure the most challenging of our health conditions." - Dennis A. Steindler, Ph.D., former Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida

"Ricki Lewis has written a remarkable book that vividly captures the breathtaking highs and devastating lows of gene therapy over the past decade while giving ample voice to all sides...The Forever Fix is required reading as we dare to dream of curing a host of genetic diseases." - Kevin Davies, Founding editor of Nature Genetics; author of The $1,000 Genome and Cracking the Genome

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Emily
The Forever Fix
I was assigned this book for my honors Biology class, and at first had some hope. We had read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it ended up being a drag, so when my teacher announced that we wered reading a book on gene therapy, a part of me was excited to read something vivid and interesting.
The book starts out with Corey's story, and up until about the 100 page mark, the book is wonderful. The only problem is, the book starts to get slow and monotonous. At certain parts, it feels as if you're reading a pictureless Biology textbook from the 60's that is mainly covering simple facts. Although the book moves on and becomes interesting again, it's a drag around the 100 page mark. Would recommend if you are interested in the topic, but I wouldn't recommend that teachers assign it, simply because of the inconsistency.

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Author Information

Ricki Lewis Author Biography

Ricki Lewis is a science writer with a PhD in genetics. After writing several textbooks and thousands of magazine articles, she is most excited about her first narrative nonfiction book, "The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It," published by St. Martin's Press in March 2012. It is the story of a lifetime: a reborn biotechnology that gave the gift of sight to an 8-year-old. In a compelling, novel-like style, Ricki chronicles the ups and downs of gene therapy through the eyes of the children, parents, researchers, and dogs who have experienced it.

Ricki grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and went to Stony Brook University. She earned her doctorate in 1980 from Indiana University, working with flies that had legs growing out of their heads and mouths. Not ...

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