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This collection of linked stories reveals science from the inside-its thrills, disappointments and triumphs. A largely fictional account, it draws on the author's decades of experience to portray the poor judgment, exhaustion, and life - threatening dedication of real scientists - their emotional preoccupations, sexual distractions, and passions for scientific investigation. The arcane, competitive world of research emerges from the shadows of its passive narrative into the sunlight of the personal voice of those who attempt to wrench secrets directly from nature.