Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project by Victor K. McElheny

By Victor K. McElheny

Drawing the Map of Life takes the tale of the Human Genome undertaking from its origins, throughout the race to its accomplishment, and directly to today’s large efforts to use the entire, ordered series of the three billion subunits of DNA, the molecule of heredity. it's the first account to deal extensive and stability with the highbrow roots of the venture, the motivations that drove it, and the hype that regularly masked actual triumphs. McElheny profiles key humans, comparable to David Botstein, Eric Lander, Francis Collins, Watson, Michael Hunkapiller and Craig Venter. He additionally exhibits that, along with being an enormous occasion within the heritage of technological know-how, one who is revolutionizing drugs, the Human Genome undertaking is a impressive instance of the way new concepts and tools (such as restrict enzymes and sequencing methods), frequently arriving first, form the kind of questions scientists then ask.

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But Mullis was slow in purifying his Taq enzyme, and so David Gelfand, Susanne Stoffel, and others went ahead with the purification. The paper announcing success with the Taq enzyme in January 1988 again listed Saiki as the lead author. By then, Mullis was long gone from Cetus. In September 1986, after an argument with research director Tom White, Mullis left with five months’ severance and became a consultant. He settled in La Jolla near San Diego. With PCR, samples that had been far too small to analyze could now be amplified for accurate analysis.

In 1980, the giant computer manufacturer IBM, long the champion of the giant “mainframe,” put its first personal computer on the market, with software from a small company called Microsoft. Every year and a half, from the 1960s onward, solid-state devices doubled their capacity to store data and carry out calculations. In parallel, communications companies BUILDING THE TOOLBOX 33 learned how to carry more and more “bandwidth” of information. This explosion occurred almost simultaneously with the recombinant DNA revolution in biological science and biotechnology.

People at Sidwell Friends were not amused. In 1980, he told a reporter, “The school and I finally came to an understanding. ” He impressed his English teacher, H. Hall Katzenbach, who had assigned a research paper to each of his students. Gilbert turned in a paper on the inheritance of characteristics in fruit flies. Katzenbach found Gilbert equally fluent in writing and mathematics. “He was an excellent writer. ” At Sidwell Friends, Gilbert met Celia Stone, a poet and painter. She was the daughter of the noted journalist I.

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