Fifty years ago, James D. Watson, then just twentyfour, helped launch the greatest ongoing scientific quest of our time. Now, with unique authority and sweeping vision, he gives us the first full account of the genetic revolution—from Mendel’s garden to the double helix to the sequencing of the human genome and beyond. Watson’s lively, panoramic narrative begins with the fanciful speculations of the ancients as to why “like begets like” before skipping ahead to 1866, when an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel first deduced the basic laws of inheritance. But genetics as we recognize it today—with its capacity, both thrilling and sobering, to manipulate the very essence of living things—came into being only with the rise of molecular investigations culminating in the breakthrough discovery of the structure of DNA, for which Watson shared a Nobel prize in 1962. In the DNA molecule’s graceful curves was the key to a whole new science. Having shown that the secret of life is chemical, modern genetics has set mankind off on a journey unimaginable just a few decades ago. Watson provides the general reader with clear explanations of molecular processes and emerging technologies. He shows us how DNA continues to alter our understanding of human origins, and of our identities as groups and as individuals. And with the insight of one who has remained close to every advance in research since the double helix, he reveals how genetics has unleashed a wealth of possibilities to alter the human condition—from genetically modified foods to genetically modified babies—and transformed itself from a domain of pure research into one of big business as well. It is a sometimes topsy-turvy world full of great minds and great egos, driven by ambitions to improve the human condition as well as to improve investment portfolios, a world vividly captured in these pages. Facing a future of choices and social and ethical implications of which we dare not remain uninformed, we could have no better guide than James Watson, who leads us with the same bravura storytelling that made The Double Helix one of the most successful books on science ever published. Infused with a scientist’s awe at nature’s marvels and a humanist’s profound sympathies, DNA is destined to become the classic telling of the defining scientific saga of our age.
"James Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and author of the international bestseller The Double Helix, tells the story of the amazing molecule since its discovery fifty years ago, following modern genetics from his own Nobel prize-winning work in the fifties to today's Dolly the sheep, designer babies and GM foods. ProfessorWatson introduces the science of modern genetics, along with its history and its implications, in this magnificent guide to one of the most triumphant achievements of human science."
Along with Francis Crick, James Watson was the discoverer of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, realising both how it was able to reproduce itself and how, through its immense variety, it was able to pass on genetic instructions from one generation to the next. Their discovery paved the way for fifty years of explosive scientific achievement of extraordinary importance, both in strictly scientific terms and in its technological and social significance. From Dolly the sheep to GM foods to designer babies, science-related newspaper headlines have been dominated by the implications of their work. In DNA, now fully updated and revised to include new findings in gene editing, epigenetics and agricultural chemistry, as well as two entirely new chapters on personal genomics and cancer research, Watson tells the story of this pioneering research and its impact on the world in which we live, from its beginnings to the present day. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative exploration of DNA’s impact – practical, social, and ethical – on our society and our world.
Everyone has heard of the story of DNA as the story of Watson and Crick and Rosalind Franklin, but knowing the structure of DNA was only a part of a greater struggle to understand life’s secrets. Life’s Greatest Secret is the story of the discovery and cracking of the genetic code, the thing that ultimately enables a spiraling molecule to give rise to the life that exists all around us. This great scientific breakthrough has had farreaching consequences for how we understand ourselves and our place in the natural world, and for how we might take control of our (and life’s) future. Life’s Greatest Secret mixes remarkable insights, theoretical dead-ends, and ingenious experiments with the swift pace of a thriller. From New York to Paris, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Cambridge, England, and London to Moscow, the greatest discovery of twentieth-century biology was truly a global feat. Biologist and historian of science Matthew Cobb gives the full and rich account of the cooperation and competition between the eccentric characters—mathematicians, physicists, information theorists, and biologists—who contributed to this revolutionary new science. And, while every new discovery was a leap forward for science, Cobb shows how every new answer inevitably led to new questions that were at least as difficult to answer: just ask anyone who had hoped that the successful completion of the Human Genome Project was going to truly yield the book of life, or that a better understanding of epigenetics or “junk DNA” was going to be the final piece of the puzzle. But the setbacks and unexpected discoveries are what make the science exciting, and it is Matthew Cobb’s telling that makes them worth reading. This is a riveting story of humans exploring what it is that makes us human and how the world works, and it is essential reading for anyone who’d like to explore those questions for themselves.
DNA's power is global - it has orchestrated the history of life on earth for three and a half billion years. Yet its touch is intimate - it determines your chances of getting cancer, the amount of cholesterol in your father's blood, and the color of your daughter's eyes. Over the past three decades, advances in our knowledge of DNA have transformed our understanding of the living world and reached into every corner of biological research. Already the rewards of this new biology have been extraordinary - genetically engineered crops, a deeper understanding of evolutionary theory, and nearly every advance in the struggle against AIDS. But molecular biology, through abilities that draw us ever closer to "playing God" with DNA, also raises awesome ethical and moral questions that didn't exist a half-century ago. The Secret of Life takes both the newly curious and the seasoned biology reader on a guided tour of this ongoing scientific revolution and its impact on our daily lives. Biologist and science writer Joe Levine and geneticist David Suzuki reveal how scientists' ability to crack and manipulate the genetic code - learning which genes do what and how - is transforming medicine, especially the treatment of inherited diseases. They show us how this knowledge is leading to experimental treatments such as gene therapy - molecular surgery with the power to cure and alter the next generation. They introduce us to the brave new world of "designer" plants and transgenic animals like Tracy (a ewe whose genetically altered mammary glands secrete valuable proteins into her milk), and to the controversies over altering these living creatures for human benefit. And they examine the contentious fieldof human behavioral genetics, asking whether it is reasonable to suggest that genes can fine-tune subtle aspects of personality and be linked to complex conditions such as alcoholism and schizophrenia. Through tales of scientific discovery, personal case studies, engaging histories, and careful scrutiny of both the facts and misconceptions behind the headlines, the authors explore the ethical and political challenges presented by the power of this new science. A companion to the acclaimed 8-part PBS television series, their book expands on the issues presented in the series while retaining its accessible style. In an age when science informs the most personal choices in our lives, The Secret of Life prepares readers to act as knowledgeable citizens in debates that demand the widest possible participation.
Applications of the Mathematical Sciences in Molecular Biology
Author: Eric S. Lander,Michael S. Waterman
Publisher: National Academies
In this first-ever survey of the partnership between mathematics and biology, leading experts look at how mathematical research and methods have made possible important discoveries in biology. Explores how differential geometry, topology, and differential mechanics have allowed researchers to "wind" and "unwind" DNA's double helix to understand the phenomenon of supercoiling. Explains how mathematical tools are revealing the workings of enzymes and proteins. Describes how mathematicians are detecting echoes from the origin of life by applying the stochastic and statictical theory to the study of DNA sequences.
James D. Watson,Tania A. Baker,Stephen P. Bell,Alexander Gann,Michael Levine,Richard Losick
Author: James D. Watson,Tania A. Baker,Stephen P. Bell,Alexander Gann,Michael Levine,Richard Losick
Publisher: Pearson Higher Ed
This is the eBook of the printed book and may not include any media, website access codes, or print supplements that may come packaged with the bound book. Now completely up-to-date with the latest research advances, the Seventh Edition of James D. Watson’s classic book, Molecular Biology of the Gene retains the distinctive character of earlier editions that has made it the most widely used book in molecular biology. Twenty-two concise chapters, co-authored by six highly distinguished biologists, provide current, authoritative coverage of an exciting, fast-changing discipline.
A Nobel Prize-winning biologist tells the riveting story of his race to discover the inner workings of biology's most important molecule "Ramakrishnan's writing is so honest, lucid and engaging that I could not put this book down until I had read to the very end."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome--an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms--that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science.
Chief Petty Officer James "Patches" Watson was there at the start. One of the first to come out of the famed Underwater Demolition Team 21, he was an initial member -- a "plank owner" -- of America's deadliest and most elite fighting force, the U.S. Navy SEALs. Through three tours in the jungle hell of Vietnam, he walked the point -- staying alert to trip wires, booby traps and punji pits, guiding his squad of amphibious fighters on missions of rescue, reconnaissance and demolition -- confronting a war's unique terrors head-on, unprotected . . . and unafraid. This is the story of a hero told from the heart and from the gut -- an authentic tour of duty with one of the most legendary commandoes of the Vietnam War.
Few scientists have thought more deeply about the nature of their calling and its impact on humanity than Max Perutz (1914–2002). Born in Vienna, Jewish by descent, lapsed Catholic by religion, he came to Cambridge in 1936 to join the lab of the legendary Communist thinker J.D. Bernal. There he began to explore the structures of the molecules that hold the secret of life. In 1940, he was interned and deported to Canada as an enemy alien, only to be brought back and set to work on a bizarre top secret war project. In 1947, he founded the small research group in which Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the structure of DNA: under his leadership it grew to become the world–famous Laboratory for Molecular Biology. Max himself explored the protein hemoglobin and his work, which won him a Nobel Prize in 1962, launched a new era of medicine, heralding today’s astonishing advances in the genetic basis of disease. Max Perutz’s story, wonderfully told by Georgina Ferry, brims with life. It has the zest of an adventure novel and is full of extraordinary characters. Max was demanding, passionate and driven but also humorous, compassionate and loving. Small in stature, he became a fearless mountain climber; drawing on his own experience as a refugee, he argued fearlessly for human rights; he could be ruthless but had a talent for friendship. An articulate and engaging advocate of science, he found new problems to engage his imagination until weeks before he died aged 88. About the author: Georgina Ferry is a former staff editor on New Scientist,and contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Science Now.Her books include the acclaimed biography Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life(1998); The Common Thread(2002, with Sir John Sulston); and A Computer Called LEO(2003). She lives in Oxford.
This is a detailed history of one of the most important and dramatic episodes in modern science, recounted from the novel vantage point of the dawn of the information age and its impact on representations of nature, heredity, and society. Drawing on archives, published sources, and interviews, the author situates work on the genetic code (1953-70) within the history of life science, the rise of communication technosciences (cybernetics, information theory, and computers), the intersection of molecular biology with cryptanalysis and linguistics, and the social history of postwar Europe and the United States. Kay draws out the historical specificity in the process by which the central biological problem of DNA-based protein synthesis came to be metaphorically represented as an information code and a writing technologyand consequently as a book of life. This molecular writing and reading is part of the cultural production of the Nuclear Age, its power amplified by the centuries-old theistic resonance of the book of life metaphor. Yet, as the author points out, these are just metaphors: analogies, not ontologies. Necessary and productive as they have been, they have their epistemological limitations. Deploying analyses of language, cryptology, and information theory, the author persuasively argues that, technically speaking, the genetic code is not a code, DNA is not a language, and the genome is not an information system (objections voiced by experts as early as the 1950s). Thus her historical reconstruction and analyses also serve as a critique of the new genomic biopower. Genomic textuality has become a fact of life, a metaphor literalized, she claims, as human genome projects promise new levels of control over life through the meta-level of information: control of the word (the DNA sequences) and its editing and rewriting. But the author shows how the humbling limits of these scriptural metaphors also pose a challenge to the textual and material mastery of the genomic book of life.
"In Francis Crick: Hunter of Life's Secrets, Robert Olby presents a full-length intellectual biography of Crick's life in science. After early life in Northampton, Crick gained experience as a scientist for the Royal Navy during World War II, before beginning academic studies in biophysics. His pioneering work in molecular biology in the 1950s and 1960s took place in Cambridge, and was followed by his move to the United States in 1976 and his work in neuroscience at the Salk Institute. Olby's detailed exploration of Crick's scientific life up to the famous 1953 discovery and beyond provides a clear demonstration of how chance does indeed favor the prepared mind.".
Aklaloid Chemistry, Biological Significance, Applications and Ecological Role
Author: Tadeusz Aniszewski
Alkaloids, represent a group of interesting and complex chemical compounds, produced by the secondary metabolism of living organisms in different biotopes. They are relatively common chemicals in all kingdoms of living organisms in all environments. Two hundred years of scientific research has still not fully explained the connections between alkaloids and life. Alkaloids-Chemistry, Biological Significance, Applications and Ecological Role provides knowledge on structural typology, biosynthesis and metabolism in relation to recent research work on alkaloids. Considering an organic chemistry approach to alkaloids using biological and ecological explanation. Within the book several questions that persist in this field of research are approached as are some unresearched areas. The book provides beneficial text for an academic and professional audience and serves as a source of knowledge for anyone who is interested in the fascinating subject of alkaloids. Each chapter features an abstract. Appendices are included, as are a listing of alkaloids, plants containing alkaloids and some basic protocols of alkaloid analysis. * Presents the ecological role of alkaloids in nature and ecosystems * Interdisciplinary and reader friendly approach * Up-to-date knowledge
Francis Crick—the quiet genius who led a revolution in biology by discovering, quite literally, the secret of life—will be bracketed with Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein as one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his fascinating biography of the scientific pioneer who uncovered the genetic code—the digital cipher at the heart of heredity that distinguishes living from non-living things—acclaimed bestselling science writer Matt Ridley traces Crick's life from middle-class mediocrity in the English Midlands through a lackluster education and six years designing magnetic mines for the Royal Navy to his leap into biology at the age of thirty-one and its astonishing consequences. In the process, Ridley sheds a brilliant light on the man who forever changed our world and how we understand it.
Author: James D. Watson,Alexander Gann,Jan Witkowski
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA, an annotated and illustrated edition of this classic book gives new insights into the personal relationships between James Watson, Frances Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin, and the making of a scientific revolution.
"Here, Drunvalo Melchizedek presents in text and graphics the first half of the Flower of Life Workshop, illuminating the mysteries of how we came to be, why the world is the way it is and the subtle energies that allow our awareness to blossom into its true beauty." --COVER.