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Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code (Hardback)
  • Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code (Hardback)

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

Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 11/06/2015
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Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books Life's Greatest Secret is the story of the discovery and cracking of the genetic code. This great scientific breakthrough has had far-reaching consequences for how we understand ourselves and our place in the natural world. The code forms the most striking proof of Darwin's hypothesis that all organisms are related, holds tremendous promise for improving human well-being, and has transformed the way we think about life. Matthew Cobb interweaves science, biography and anecdote in a book that mixes remarkable insights, theoretical dead-ends and ingenious experiments with the pace of a thriller. He describes cooperation and competition among some of the twentieth-century's most outstanding and eccentric minds, moves between biology, physics and chemistry, and shows the part played by computing and cybernetics. The story spans the globe, from Cambridge MA to Cambridge UK, New York to Paris, London to Moscow. It is both thrilling science and a fascinating story about how science is done.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781251409
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 856 g
Dimensions: 243 x 160 x 38 mm
Edition: Main

It is to Cobb's considerably credit that he manages to provide such an authoritative but nevertheless thrilling narrative, while also establishing, on a more serious level, how the genetic code has made its impact on everyday life 50 years since its discovery. In short, this is a first-class read. -- Robin McKie * The Observer *
A fascinating reminder of just how hard-won are the seemingly obvious facts of modern biology... the cracking of the code of life is a great story, of which this is an accomplished telling. * The Economist *
Compelling, authoritative and insightful -- Brian Cox
Life's Greatest Secret is the logical sequel to Jim Watson's The Double Helix -- Jerry Coyne
Gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves. * Kirkus Reviews *
Rich, thrilling and thorough, this is the definitive history of arguably the greatest of all scientific revolutions. -- Adam Rutherford
Writing with flair, charisma and authority, this is Cobb's magnum opus. But more important than that, this is humankind's magnum opus, the story of a great human endeavour - a global adventure spanning decades - which 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
Cobb reveals the astonishing drama of the moment genetics and information technology collided, shaping the modern world and modern thought. -- Paul Mason
A delight ... The world of all the scientists involved comes alive, especially in the account of one of Crick's parties when, in the thick of things, the British and French biologists realised they had probably discovered the same thing from different angles. * Guardian *
A masterwork ... should be required reading for all graduate students in the disciplines of genetics and molecular biology and, most certainly, students of the history of science. * Cell Magazine *
Bloody brilliant. * Brian Cox *

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