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Along with Francis Crick, James Watson was the discoverer of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, realising both how it was able to reproduce itself and how, through its immense variety, it was able to pass on genetic instructions from one generation to the next. Their discovery paved the way for fifty years of explosive scientific achievement, of extraordinary importance both in strictly scientific terms and for its technological and social significance. From Dolly the sheep to GM foods to designer babies, science-related newspaper headlines have been dominated by the implications of their work.
In DNA: The Secret of Life, now fully updated and revised to include new findings in gene editing, epigenetics and agricultural chemistry, as well as two entirely new chapters on personal genomics and cancer research, Watson tells the story of this pioneering research and its impact on the world in which we live, from its beginnings to the present. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative exploration of DNA's impact – practical, social, and ethical – on our society and our world.
Born in the US, James Watson won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/ Medicine in 1962. He is the author of a number of books, including the international bestseller The Double Helix.
Reviews of the first edition:
"An immediate classic."
– E. O. Wilson
"Marvellous and comprehensive."
"A wonderful book."
– Sunday Telegraph
"James Watson is one of the greatest living biologists. His new book is an important event, for he is a scintillating writer."
– The Sunday Times
"James Watson has been an eyewitness to each revolution in molecular biology, from the double helix to the genome. He sees further and clearer than anybody else in the field. Give this fabulously good book to anybody who wants to understand what all the excitement is about."
– Matt Ridley