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Book Title: DNA. Il segreto della vita|
The author of the book: James D. Watson
ISBN 13: 9788845919176
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 7.5
The size of the: 22.16 MB
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Date of issue: 2004
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What makes DNA different from hordes of competitors purporting to help readers understand genetics is that it is written by none other than James Watson, of Watson and Crick fame. He and his co-author Andrew Berry have produced a clear and easygoing history of genetics, from Mendel through genome sequencing. Watson offers readers a sense of immediacy, a behind-the scenes familiarity with some of the most exciting developments in modern science. He gleefully reports on the research juggernaut that led to current obsessions with genetic engineering and cloning. Aided by profuse illustrations and photos, Watson offers an enthusiastic account of how scientists figured out how DNA codes for the creation of proteins--the so-called "central dogma" of genetics. But as patents and corporations enter the picture, Watson reveals his concern about the incursions of business into the hallowed halls of science.
After 1975, DNA was no longer solely the concern of academics trying to understand the molecular underpinnings of life. The molecule moved beyond the cloisters of white-coated scientists into a very different world populated largely by men in silk ties and sharp suits.
In later chapters, Watson aims barbs at those who are concerned by genetic tinkering, calling them "alarmists" who don't understand how the experiments work. It is in these arguments that Watson may lose favor with those whose notions of science were born after Silent Spring. Nevertheless, DNA encompasses both sides of the political issues involved in genetics, and Watson is an enthusiastic proponent of debate on the subject. The book accompanies a 5-part PBS series. --Therese Littleton
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Read information about the authorIn 1928, James D. Watson was born in Chicago. Watson, who co-discovered the double helix structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) at age 25, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. His bird-watching hobby prompted his interest in genetics. He earned his B.Sc. degree in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1947, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1950. He worked with Wilkins and Francis Crick at Cavendish Laboratory in England in 1951-1953, when they discovered the structure of DNA. Watson became a member of the Harvard Biology Department in 1956, then a full professor in 1961. His book The Double Helix, which was published in 1968, became a bestseller. Watson was appointed director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island in 1968, and became its president in 1994. As director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the NIH in 1989, Watson launched the worldwide campaign to map and sequence the human genome. Watson is an outspoken unbeliever who considers that human progress has been shackled by the idea of divine fate, and that human beings should do their utmost to improve the future. In a Youngstown State University speech, Watson said, "The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand" (The Vindicator, Dec. 2, 2003).
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