Book Review: Building Better Babies by Michael de Angeli

by Dennis Crouch

Michael de Angeli is a long time patent attorney with his own Rhode Island firm. However, his most recent venture is as an author of the new Sci-Fi Drama titled Building Better Babies: A novel of law, science, and suspense (2014). I am about half-way through the 450 page novel and am really enjoying it. Patently-O readers may relate well with Henry Hannah, the handsome patent attorney protagonist.

de Angeli offers the following summary:

Patent lawyer Hank Hannah is hired by Jean-Luc Rameau, CEO of World BioTech, to protect a process for building better babies. Sections of the DNA of athletes, scientists, musicians and beautiful people can be transplanted into the parents’ genes, and hereditary disease eliminated. All goes well until the babies start getting sick. Chief inventor David Alexander develops a vitamin cocktail that can save them, and a disaster is averted. Then the US government learns of the development, and decides that it wants control of the technology. Rameau and Alexander are arrested. Only Hank Hannah has the keys to the jail. But can he save them?


23 thoughts on “Book Review: Building Better Babies by Michael de Angeli

  1. 5

    Remember back in early February Lex Machina published some data about patent filings “dropping sharply” in January? And then in March Big Gene called them up to get the February numbers, which represented a huge increase in filings over January, even though it’s shorter month. And he somehow spun that garbage into a sad story about how all the new patent legislation was unnecessary and, of course, all the self-promoters in the junk patent biz ran with it and repeated Gene’s b.s.?

    So what are the March numbers? Seems odd that this big important story about the “sharp drop” suddenly disappeared. Unless, of course, someone just wants to forget the whole thing because the facts aren’t as pretty as they wished them to be.

    Here’s Lex Machina’s phone number: (650) 390-9500

    Maybe Dennis can call ’em up and ask them for the March numbers and an update to their purty chart. We’re almost two weeks into April here.

      1. 5.1.2

        Kicked you off? You need to use the blog as a bully pulpit and bash LexMachina as much as possible. Teach ’em a lesson.

  2. 3

    Speaking of science fiction, I am currently reading Glasshouse that somewhat involves the paradox never addressed in the Star Trek series. Think about the transporter that holds a copy of the transported person or thing. If Spock dies, why not simply recreate Spock from the copy? Next, why age? Replace oneself from a younger copy?

    In Glasshouse, this is a reality. Injure a leg. It is remade using “transporter” technology. People can change themselves into any configuration they please. Adds heads and arms. Subtract them. All within minutes.

    People routinely back themselves up just in case.

    An interesting book as well….

      1. 3.1.1

        anon, there were others as well, where the transporter malfunctioned and people were stranded in some netherworld but still could be rematerialized. Other episodes mentioned that the “pattern” was recorded.

        It was never fully explained as to why the object of transportation was dematerialized in the process.

        So, I guess one is left with the impression that transportation involved the actual moving of the physical into a different universe or dimension of some sort where it could be captured. It was not entirely data.

        Glasshouse has both kinds of transportation. One is by wormhole. The other is by data reconstruction.


              That one in particular wasn’t very good. But I kind of liked the one where he turned into a temporary genius.

              Also, he was really good on The A-Team.

      2. 3.1.2

        Oh, and did you get that reference to the Dyson sphere. Well there are those who propose using something like that to create tiny black holes that could be used as power sources for such things as intersteller travel. Over time, black holes convert their entire mass to energy that is emitted. Use or focus that emission, then one has the power to get up very close to the speed of light, making interstellar travel practicable.


            reminds me of this quip:

            If you owned everything in the universe, where would you put it?


              anon, in one’s “own” universe, of course.

              Science now knows how to create a new universe from this one and to create a wormhole between this and the one you created.

              Imagine that.


              anon, in one’s “own” universe, of course.

              (sigh) – it appears that you do not get why it is a quip….


              …to belabor the point, creating a new universe has nothing to do with this one. If you create a new universe, then you have that universe (which is already full of the stuff of that universe and has NO ROOM for this universe) as well as still having this universe.


            Well, if you create a new universe, don’t you own it?

            And better, if you do create one, are you not its Creator?


              We need a book to explore how the creators of a new universe who could enter the new universe through a wormhole would be viewed to the new life forms that inhabit that universe. Would the creators not seed the new with copies of themselves, for example?

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