The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.
When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.
The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code. …
After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.
Most worthy — perhaps — is Feng Zhang. But he and his boss Eric Lander come off as BAD GUYS in this book, unethical in their collaborations.
ONE bit of good news. When COVID-19 was announced early 2020, both Zhang’s and Doudna’s companies changed research priorities towards developing CRISPR-based coronavirus tests. Both were successful and both hope to make simple at-home tests ready for market in 2021: Sherlock and Mammoth.
The most entertaining of the CRISPR giants is geneticist George Church. When the movie is made, he’ll be the fan favourite.
Emmanuelle Charpentier is an intriguing personality, as well. I’d read her biography.
There’s an argument that governments should have let the pandemic run its course. Kept most things open as Sweden did at the beginning. More early deaths, more illness, more long long-haul side effects.
Leaders leaning this way include Trump, Nicaragua’s Ortega, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Mexico’s Obrador, Belarus’s Lukashenko, Turkmenistan’s Berdimuhamedow, Cambodia’s Hun Sen, Tanzania’s Magufuli.
Populists pandering to their dumbest voters.
When the pandemic ends we’ll be able to calculate which nations survived best: economically, educationally, healthiest. It won’t be any of those nations. They will include New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland, Senegal, Denmark, Saudi Arabia.
And finds herself offered a chance to reinvent her life by going back and making different major life decisions.
Some include Nora becoming a glaciologist, Olympic swimmer, and rock star.
Haig put together this construct to talk philosophically about regret, hope and second chances. The author is a a champion of mental health causes. Instead of preaching medical science, he puts the same messages across in an entertaining narrative.
I found the book very uplifting.
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever.
Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices
. . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”