The Code Breaker Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson
نویسنده: والتر ایزاکسون (Walter Isaacson)
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.
In the spring of 2012, the Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.
Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. It has already been deployed to cure deadly diseases, fight the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and make inheritable changes in the genes of babies.
The development of CRISPR and the war against coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been an information-technology era, based on the microchip, the computer, and the internet.
Now we are entering an even more momentous era, a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be surpassed by those who study the code of life.
Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses and eliminate dreaded disorders? What a wonderful boon that would be! Right? And what about preventing congenital deafness or blindness? Or being very short? Or being depressed?
Hmmm…How should we think about that? Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the IQ or height or memory or muscles of their kids?
After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral and policy issues. Her life story illustrates that the key to innovation is connecting basic science to our everyday lives—moving discoveries from our labs to our bedsides—in ways that respect our moral values.
It’s a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.
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Goodreads users review :
This is one of the most interesting nonfiction books that I have read in years. It is an engaging journey regarding the science behind gene editing and the people at the forefront of that science. It provides a balanced view of these people and the complexities of the competition involved in their development. This is a book that you want in your library to share with family, friends and aspiring scientists. Cora Beth rated it: 5.0 from 5.0
The most interesting, thought provoking book I may have ever read. Isaacson does not disappoint in his journey through the mysteries of DNA, RNA and the science that weaves them together. My, how far we’ve advanced in biotech and how far we now will go. I’m reminded of the quote from the movie, The Graduate, where McGuire tells Benjamin Braddock: I want to say one word to you Benjamin. Just one word….plastics. In the case of The Code Breaker and our future, that one word is: CRISPR. Mike rated it: 5.0 from 5.0
This is the latest from Walter Isaacson whose limitless interest in so many subjects results in exceedingly well researched and interesting biographies. I must admit finding that the quirky personalities he includes more interesting than the actual science writing which was so far over my head, it was totally inaccessible to me. Yet, the personality of Jennifer Doudna, which occupies the central position, was fascinating, and I’m glad I read it. Kasa Cotugno rated it: 4.0 from 5.0