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Today I finished “The Miracle Strain“, by Michael Cordy (1997).  The book is a Sci-Fi thriller with religious overtones in the same vein as “The Da Vinci Code“.  In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve not read the Da Vinci Code.  I’ve only seen the movie.  My understanding is that Disney has purchased the rights to “The Miracle Strain” and a movie is going to be made.
The basic idea is there are some folks working on gene therapy to cure cancer.  They speculate that Jesus Christ may have been able to cure illnesses because he had some means of passing on genetic cures (ie laying hands).  There is the obligatory secret society trying to stop the “good” scientists.  There are murders and sex scenes to maintain voyeuristic interest, and a minimum of science added to make the story plausible.
The book is a very fast read and actually quite thought provoking.  Would it matter to your faith if Christ’s ability to heal was science based and not a “true” miracle – implying others could do the same?  (The book neglects to mention and does not attempt to explain, Christ’s non-healing miracles – or those with no physical contact.)
I read this book several years ago in paperback.  I was at the library for my adult literacy tutoring and found (serendipity) the hardbound version in the $.50 bin, so I picked it up.  I remembered it being enjoyable, but not much else, so the re-read was almost like new.  If you liked the Da Vinci Code, you’ll probably like this too.
As an aside, I’m now reading an article titled: “Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine” about a scientist who believes he can reduce the harmful effects of stress by using gene therapy.  Basically, stress doesn’t kill you, but it makes it easier for the things which do kill you to kill you quicker.  He hopes to give you genes (using retro viruses) to fool the body into thinking you’re under less stress and thereby slow down the killer illnesses.
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