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.
Mylodon weighed about 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lb) and was about 3 m (9.8 ft) long from snout to tail tip. It had very thick hide and had osteodermswithin its skin for added armor. Because of this armor and its long and sharp claws, it is unlikely that the Mylodon had any natural enemies other than humans …
That’s a model at the Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument where fossils were found in 1896. I didn’t make the trip out there from Puerto Natales as I’d head it was pretty cheesy.
I was reading The Wayfinders (2009) by Wade Davis … and was captivated by his story of an African DNA study which concluded the San are likely to be the oldest population of humans on Earth.
The San, also known as bushmen, are directly descended from the original population of early human ancestors who gave rise to all other groups of Africans and, eventually, to the people who left the continent to populate other parts of the world.
This Wade Davis book argues that ancient wisdom still matters in the modern world. And that humanity will be lesser if we lose cultures like the San.
For some reason(s) a small group of San migrated north about 350 generations ago. Most people in the world are likely descended from that intrepid group. Some of the San still live much like they did 350 generations ago.