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Science journalist McElheny charts the history of the human genome project from the discovery of DNA less than sixty years ago to the real possibility of recreating our own genetic coding. Along the way he puts faces to the scientists working on the project. He also covers the political and ethical debates. For some of the researchers, the search was intensified by personal experiences. One had a brother with Down Syndrome, another a child with schizophrenia. The wide-ranging possibilities of genetic manipulation are discussed, including retro-viruses to treat cancer and AIDS and increase food production. For the most part, McElheny concentrates on telling the story without becoming embroiled in the ethical and religious controversies surrounding the topic. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Insisting on the Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land, Inventor of Instant Photography (Sloan Technology Series)by Victor K. Mcelheny
This fascinating biography of the great inventor and entrepreneur Edwin Land captures the very essence of technological innovation. Renowned as the inventor of instant photography, Land won 535 patents, joining Edison among the world's most prolific inventors. While still in his teens, this Magellan of modern technology invented sheet polarizers and went on to build a tiny research lab into a gigantic enterprise that turned out a vast and continuous array of innovations. McElheny draws a vivid and memorable portrait of this extraordinary man, in the lab, in the boardroom, in high-secret defense work including the spearheading of the U2 spy plane. His penetrating insight into Land's innovative genius will speak to anyone interested in business, science, photography or government.
The most influential scientist of the last century, James Watson has been at dead center in the creation of modern molecular biology. This masterful biography brings to life the extraordinary achievements not only of Watson but also all those working on this cutting edge of scientific discovery, such as Walter Gilbert, Francis Crick, François Jacob, and David Baltimore. From the ruthless competition in the race to identify the structure of DNA to a near mutiny in the Harvard biology department, to clashes with ethicists over issues in genetics, Watson has left a wake of detractors as well as fans. Victor McElheny probes brilliantly behind the veil of Watson's own invented persona, bringing us close to the relentless genius and scientific impresario who triggered and sustained a revolution in science.
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