The semester so far has been quite hectic, but the two books that motivate me to keep going are :
The code breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
There are very few female Nobel Laureates and hence gaining some perspective of the woman who made it to that finishing line is very interesting. That being said, the scope of this book is much wider than the life of Jennifer Doudna herself.
It takes you through the journey of CRISPER technology while accounting for the other aspects like patents, biohacking, and rivalries. The stark contrast between the immediate applications of CRISPER is what fascinate – some of them perhaps stretching the ethical boundary beyond the scope of recovery. On one hand, this book helps us realize the importance of CRISPER in the development of COVID-19 tests and vaccines while on the other hand, it begins to question the concepts of “designer babies”.
This book is a very good starting point for people who are a little aware of the current advances in biology and are interested in the scientific as well as ethical aspects that go hand in hand.
As Charpentiersays “At the end of the day, the discoveries are what endure”.
Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome
Amid the “genius” like portraits of the scientist, we many a time crave to see the human within them, and this book gives that glimpse! The book is about a human’s journey through the field of structural biology accompanied by a multitude of emotions that leave you feeling fulfilled. It will remind you that science is teamwork and take the usual ‘lonely’ scientist out of the age-old stereotyped image. To a lesser extent, the journey in this book is also about the discovery of the structure of the Ribosome and the important role of the discovery of the DNA -the double helix.
Overall, a very good read when you are trying to understand the human in you that is eager to explore the scientific world around you!
Amid all the hustle that surrounds us, we sometimes crave for those fleeting moments that shape us for years to come, and these books to some extent will shape you in a similar manner by bringing the “behind the scenes” of discovery in light.
I hope you enjoy reading these books!