Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code

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Product Details

Price
$29.99
Publisher
Basic Books
Publish Date
Pages
464
Dimensions
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.7 inches | 0.02 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780465062676

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About the Author

Matthew Cobb is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester, where he studies olfaction, insect behavior, and the history of science. He earned his PhD in psychology and genetics from the University of Sheffield. He is the author of five books: Life's Greatest Secret, Generation, The Resistance, Eleven Days in August, and Smell: A Very Short Introduction. He lives in England.

Reviews

PRAISE FOR "LIFE'S GREATEST SECRET"
Named one of the best science books of 2015 by the "Guardian"
The book serves as a useful primer for those interested in the brave new world of genetic intervention made possible by the rise of biotechnology. But Cobb s book will also be of interest to professional scientists as it recounts events in one of the most transformative periods in the history of science: the rise of a molecular understanding of lifean absorbing and, in places, thrilling book. The race to crack the genetic code is a story with considerable drama and it unfolds remarkably lucidly in Cobb s tellingOn the whole Cobb tells his story beautifully and his book is a pleasure to read. Packed with fascinating detail, "Life s Greatest Secret" is a major accomplishment"Life s Greatest Secret" highlights the power of the beautiful experiment in scienceBig data provide important new tools to biology and medicine. But the larger lesson of Life s Greatest Secret is one that may be worth remembering. When scientists require definitive answers, not merely suggestive patterns, they require experiments that are decisive and, if all goes well, beautiful.
"New York Review of Books"
An absorbing, meticulous account of one of the greatest scientific stories of the 20th century.
"Guardian"
[T]he cracking of the code of life is a great story, of which this is an accomplished telling.
"Economist"
Readers of Mr. Cobb s book will learn much about the history and current state of modern biology.
"Wall Street Journal"
A lucid explanation of the science and the stories of key players.
"Nature"
An authoritative but nevertheless thrilling narrativeIn short, this is a first-class read.
"The Observer"
[A] masterly account Cobb s book is a delight. Even those who know parts of the story quite well will find fresh, intriguing vignettes.
"Guardian"
Cobb covers well-plowed ground, but he does so in a manner both thoroughly engaging and truly edifying.
"Publishers Weekly"
Like Cobb s other titles, this scholarly work reflects extensive research and draws upon primary documents. Upper-level students and researchers in biology or the history of science are best equipped to appreciate this detailed book.
"Library Journal"
[A] fine history of genetics.... [A] gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves.
"Kirkus Reviews" (starred)
"Life's Greatest Secret" is the logical sequel to Jim Watson's "The Double Helix." While Watson and Crick deserve their plaudits for discovering the structure of DNA, that was only part of the story. Beginning to understand how that helix workshow its DNA code is turned into bodies and behaviorstook another 15 years of amazing work by an army of dedicated men and women. These are the unknown heroes of modern genetics, and their tale is the subject of Cobb's fascinating book. Every now and again I had to stop reading because the amazement overload was too great.
Jerry Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, The University of Chicago, and author of "Why Evolution Is True"
Matthew Cobb is a respected scientist and historian, and he has combined both disciplines to spectacular effect in this wonderful book. A compelling, authoritative, and insightful account of how life works at the deepest level. Bloody brilliant!
Brian Cox, Professor of Physics, The University of Manchester and author of "Why Does E=mc ?"
The third of the grand unifying theories of biology was completed in the 20th Century, following Darwin's evolution by natural selection, and Cell Theory a century earlier. DNA, the double helix, and the universality of the genetic code radically transformed our understanding of life: no area in biology has been untouched by this revolution, from cancer to human origins to genetic engineering, and now, to the future of data storage. Cobb, a scientist and thorough historian, is a master storyteller, and recounts the thrilling science, politics, egos of this grand scientific revolution. Essential, definitive reading.
Adam Rutherford, author of "Creation: How Science Is Reinventing Life Itself"
Most people think the race to sequence the human genome culminated at the 2000 White House Mission Accomplished announcement. In Matthew Cobb s "Life's Greatest Secret," we learn that it was just one chapter of a far more interesting and continuing story.
Eric Topol, Professor of Genomics and Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of "The Patient Will See You Now"
"Writing with flair, charisma and authority, this is Cobb s magnum opus. But more important than that, this is humankind s magnum opus. This is the story of a great human endeavoura global adventure spanning decadeswhich unravelled how life really works. No area of science is more fundamental or more important; read about it and be filled with wonder."
Daniel M. Davis, author of "The Compatibility Gene""
PRAISE FOR LIFE'S GREATEST SECRET

Named one of the best science books of 2015 by the Guardian

"The book serves as a useful primer for those interested in the brave new world of genetic intervention made possible by the rise of biotechnology. But Cobb's book will also be of interest to professional scientists as it recounts events in one of the most transformative periods in the history of science: the rise of a molecular understanding of life...an absorbing and, in places, thrilling book. The race to crack the genetic code is a story with considerable drama and it unfolds remarkably lucidly in Cobb's telling...On the whole Cobb tells his story beautifully and his book is a pleasure to read. Packed with fascinating detail, Life's Greatest Secret is a major accomplishment...Life's Greatest Secret highlights the power of the beautiful experiment in science...Big data provide important new tools to biology and medicine. But the larger lesson of Life's Greatest Secret is one that may be worth remembering. When scientists require definitive answers, not merely suggestive patterns, they require experiments that are decisive and, if all goes well, beautiful."
--New York Review of Books

"An absorbing, meticulous account of one of the greatest scientific stories of the 20th century."
--Guardian
"[T]he cracking of the code of life is a great story, of which this is an accomplished telling."--Economist
"Readers of Mr. Cobb's book will learn much about the history and current state of modern biology."--Wall Street Journal
"A lucid explanation of the science and the stories of key players."--Nature
"An authoritative but nevertheless thrilling narrative.... In short, this is a first-class read."--Observer
"[A] masterly account.... Cobb's book is a delight. Even those who know parts of the story quite well will find fresh, intriguing vignettes."--Guardian

"Cobb covers well-plowed ground, but he does so in a manner both thoroughly engaging and truly edifying."--Publishers Weekly
"Like Cobb's other titles, this scholarly work reflects extensive research and draws upon primary documents. Upper-level students and researchers in biology or the history of science are best equipped to appreciate this detailed book."--Library Journal
"[A] fine history of genetics.... [A] gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Most people think the race to sequence the human genome culminated at the 2000 White House 'Mission Accomplished' announcement. In Matthew Cobb's Life's Greatest Secret, we learn that it was just one chapter of a far more interesting and continuing story."--Eric Topol, professor of genomics and director, Scripps Translational Science Institute, and author of The Patient Will See You Now
"The third of the grand unifying theories of biology was completed in the 20th Century, following Darwin's evolution by natural selection, and Cell Theory a century earlier. DNA, the double helix, and the universality of the genetic code radically transformed our understanding of life: no area in biology has been untouched by this revolution, from cancer to human origins to genetic engineering, and now, to the future of data storage. Cobb, a scientist and thorough historian, is a master storyteller, and recounts the thrilling science, politics, egos of this grand scientific revolution. Essential, definitive reading."--Adam Rutherford, author of Creation: How Science Is Reinventing Life Itself
"Life's Greatest Secret is the logical sequel to Jim Watson's The Double Helix. While Watson and Crick deserve their plaudits for discovering the structure of DNA, that was only part of the story. Beginning to understand how that helix works--how its DNA code is turned into bodies and behaviors--took another 15 years of amazing work by an army of dedicated men and women. These are the unknown heroes of modern genetics, and their tale is the subject of Cobb's fascinating book. Every now and again I had to stop reading because the amazement overload was too great."--Jerry Coyne, professor of ecology and evolution, the University of Chicago, and author of Why Evolution Is True
"Matthew Cobb is a respected scientist and historian, and he has combined both disciplines to spectacular effect in this wonderful book. A compelling, authoritative, and insightful account of how life works at the deepest level. Bloody brilliant!"--Brian Cox, professor of physics, the University of Manchester and author of Why Does E=mc?