Cracking the Genome
Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA
In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the double helix structure of DNA. The discovery was a profound moment in the history of science, but solving the structure of the genetic material did not reveal what the human genome sequence actually was, or what it says about who we are. Cracking the code of life would take another half a century.
In 2001, two rival teams of scientists shared the acclaim for sequencing the human genome. Kevin Davies, founding editor of Nature Genetics, has relentlessly followed the story as it unfolded week by week since the dawn of the Human Genome Project in 1990. Here, in rich human and scientific detail, is the compelling story of one of the greatest scientific feats ever accomplished: the sequencing of the human genome.
In brilliant, accessible prose, Davies captures the drama of this momentous achievement, drawing on his own genetics expertise and on interviews with the key scientists. Davies details the fraught rivalry between the public consortium, chaperoned by Francis Collins, and Celera Genomics, directed by sequencer J. Craig Venter. And in this newly updated edition, Davies sheds light on the secrets of the sequence, highlighting the myriad ways in which genomics will impact human health for the generations to come.
Cracking the Genome is the definitive, balanced account of how the code that holds the answer to the origin of life, the evolution of humanity, and the future of medicine was finally broken.
About the Author
Kevin Davies is the founding editor of Nature Genetics and is currently editor-in-chief of Bio•IT World. He graduated from Oxford University and holds a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of London.
"For an up-to-the-minute account of one of the most dramatic periods in present-day science, Cracking the Genome is an essential read."
"A superb job... A tantalizing glimpse of the ethical perils and technological possibilities awaiting humanity."
"A rollicking good tale about an enduring intellectual monument."
"The race is over, and Davies was there, all along, providing the running commentary—and there, too, at the finish line. In Cracking the Genome, he hands out the prizes."
"Davies has tracked one of the most important stories ever to unfold. Davies helps readers understand how the deciphering of our genetic code will revolutionize our lives while posing serious ethical dilemmas."
"An impressive job of contextualizing the science within a political, economic, and social framework, creating a lively tale as accessible to non—specialists as it is to scientists."
"Investors and others looking for a quick primer on the science and business of biotechnology will find this a useful guide."
"In Davies' prose, this story of molecular biology and the Human Genome Project is as compelling as any Arthurian legend. In a fast-moving approachable style, Davies captures the uncovering of biology's Holy Grail, relying on his own expertise in genetics and interviews with key players such as Collins and Venter."
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