The New Power to Control Evolution
Author: Jennifer Doudna,Samuel Sternberg
A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all. It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends. Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? The future of humankind - and of all life on Earth - is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
Author: Jennifer A. Doudna,Samuel H. Sternberg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize One of Science News’ Favorite Books of the Year “Required reading for every concerned citizen.” — New York Review of Books “The future is in our hands as never before, and this book explains the stakes like no other.” — George Lucas Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. That is, until 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the gene-editing tool CRISPR—a revolutionary new technology that she helped create—to make heritable changes in human embryos. The cheapest, simplest, most effective way of manipulating DNA ever known, CRISPR may well give us the cure to HIV, genetic diseases, and some cancers. Yet even the tiniest changes to DNA could have myriad, unforeseeable consequences—to say nothing of the ethical and societal repercussions of intentionally mutating embryos to create “better” humans. Writing with fellow researcher Sam Sternberg, Doudna shares the thrilling story of her discovery and describes the enormous responsibility that comes with the power to rewrite the code of life. “An essential start to educating the public . . . reveal[s] the complex, interlocking, and thoroughly international nature of today’s bioscience.” —Los Angeles Review of Books “An invaluable account . . . We owe Doudna several times over.” — Guardian
Author: Jim Kozubek
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book tells the dramatic story of Crispr and the potential impact of this gene-editing technology.
Author: Wolfgang Hunter,Anna Hasselbring
Brilliant scientists, maniacal Russians, global leaders and paranoid Mennonites populate this prophetic thriller. First discovered only a few years ago, CRISPR could be the answer to mankinds prayers or the cause of civilizations demise. It could cure cancer or kill every human on the planet. CRISPR is unregulated, dirt cheap, and available to anyone with an Internet account and a credit card. This novel will enlighten you, and scare you, like nothing you have ever read.
Science, Ethics, and Governance
Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,National Academy of Medicine,National Academy of Sciences,Committee on Human Gene Editing: Scientific, Medical, and Ethical Considerations
Publisher: National Academies Press
Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organismâ€™s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led many policymakers and stakeholders to express concern about whether appropriate systems are in place to govern these technologies and how and when the public should be engaged in these decisions. Human Genome Editing considers important questions about the human application of genome editing including: balancing potential benefits with unintended risks, governing the use of genome editing, incorporating societal values into clinical applications and policy decisions, and respecting the inevitable differences across nations and cultures that will shape how and whether to use these new technologies. This report proposes criteria for heritable germline editing, provides conclusions on the crucial need for public education and engagement, and presents 7 general principles for the governance of human genome editing.
How Genome Editing Will Transform the World
Author: John Parrington
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Since the birth of civilisation, human beings have manipulated other life-forms. We have selectively bred plants and animals for thousands of years to maximize agricultural production and cater to our tastes in pets. The observation of the creation of artificial animal and plant variants was a key stimulant for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The ability to directly engineer the genomes of organisms first became possible in the 1970s, when the gene for human insulin was introduced into bacteria to produce this protein for diabetics. At the same time, mice were modified to produce human growth hormone, and grew huge as a result. But these were only our first tottering steps into the possibilities of genetic engineering. In the past few years, the pace of progress has accelerated enormously. We can now cut and paste genes using molecular scissors with astonishing ease, and the new technology of genome editing can be applied to practically any species of plants or animals. 'Mutation chain reaction' can be used to alter the genes of a population of pests, such as flies; as the modified creatures breed, the mutation is spread through the population, so that within a few generations the organism is almost completely altered. At the same time, scientists are also beginning to synthesize new organisms from scratch. These new technologies hold much promise for improving lives. Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients, by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing could be used to engineer species with increased food output, and the ability to thrive in challenging climates. New bacterial forms may be used to generate energy. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas and potential dangers, pressing issues that are already upon us given the speed of scientific developments. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring - and would designer babies be limited to the rich? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic lifeforms into complex ecosystems? John Parrington explains the nature and possibilities of these new scientific developments, which could usher in a brave, new world. We must rapidly come to understand its implications if we are to direct its huge potential to the good of humanity and the planet.
The First Trial at the International Criminal Court
Author: Jim Freedman
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
A Conviction in Question follows the foundational and controversial trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a murderer whose trial is paramount in tracing the rapid evolution of international law.
New Constructs of Mind and Reality
Author: Joseph Chilton Pearce
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
The classic work that shaped the thought of a generation with its powerful insights into the true nature of mind and reality. • Defines culture as a "cosmic egg" structured by the mind's drive for logical ordering of its universe. • Provides techniques allowing individuals to break through the vicious circle of logic-based systems to attain expanded ways of creative living and learning. The sum total of our notions of what the world is--and what we perceive its full potential to be--form a shell of rational thought in which we reside. This logical universe creates a vicious circle of reasoning that robs our minds of power and prevents us from reaching our true potential. To step beyond that circle requires a centering and focus that today's society assaults on every level. Through the insights of Teilhard, Tillich, Jung, Jesus, Carlos Castaneda, and others, Joseph Chilton Pearce provides a mode of thinking through which imagination can escape the mundane shell of current construct reality and leap into a new phase of human evolution. This enormously popular New Age classic is finally available again to challenge the assumptions of a new generation of readers and help them develop their potential through new creative modes of thinking. With a masterful synthesis of recent discoveries in physics, biology, and psychology, Pearce reveals the extraordinary relationship of mind and reality and nature's blueprint for a self-transcending humanity.
How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.
Symbiosis and the evolution of complex life
Author: John Archibald
Publisher: OUP Oxford
We are in the midst of a revolution. It is a scientific revolution built upon the tools of molecular biology, with which we probe and prod the living world in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Need to track a bacterium at the root of a hospital outbreak? No problem: the offending germ's complete genetic profile can be obtained in 24 hours. We insert human DNA into E. coli bacteria to produce our insulin. It is natural to look at biotechnology in the 21st century with a mix of wonder and fear. But biotechnology is not as 'unnatural' as one might think. All living organisms use the same molecular processes to replicate their genetic material and the same basic code to 'read' their genes. The similarities can be seen in their DNA. Here, John Archibald shows how evolution has been 'plugging-and-playing' with the subcellular components of life from the very beginning and continues to do so today. For evidence, we need look no further than the inner workings of our own cells. Molecular biology has allowed us to gaze back more than three billion years, revealing the microbial mergers and acquisitions that underpin the development of complex life. One Plus One Equals One tells the story of how we have come to this realization and its implications.
How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves
Author: George M. Church,Ed Regis
Publisher: Basic Books
“Bold and provocative… Regenesis tells of recent advances that may soon yield endless supplies of renewable energy, increased longevity and the return of long-extinct species.”—New Scientist In Regenesis, Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities—and perils—of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. These technologies—far from the out-of-control nightmare depicted in science fiction—have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span. A breathtaking look at the potential of this world-changing technology, Regenesis is nothing less than a guide to the future of life.
The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome
Author: Venki Ramakrishnan
Publisher: Basic Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A Nobel Prize-winning biologist tells the riveting story of his race to discover the inner workings of biology's most important molecule "Ramakrishnan's writing is so honest, lucid and engaging that I could not put this book down until I had read to the very end."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome--an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms--that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science.
A Graphic Guide
Author: Cath Ennis
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Epigenetics is the most exciting field in biology today, developing our understanding of how and why we inherit certain traits, develop diseases and age, and evolve as a species. This non-fiction comic book introduces us to genetics, cell biology and the fascinating science of epigenetics, which is rapidly filling in the gaps in our knowledge, allowing us to make huge advances in medicine. We’ll look at what identical twins can teach us about the epigenetic effects of our environment and experiences, why certain genes are 'switched on' or off at various stages of embryonic development, and how scientists have reversed the specialization of cells to clone frogs from a single gut cell. In Introducing Epigenetics, Cath Ennis and Oliver Pugh pull apart the double helix, examining how the epigenetic building blocks and messengers that interpret and edit our genes help to make us, well, us.
Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science
Author: Marcus du Sautoy
“Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting.” —Bill Bryson This enhanced eBook edition takes readers even deeper into The Great Unknown with exclusive video and audio clips. Watch du Sautoy demonstrate chaos theory with his wooden pendulum, stumble to find logic in a paradoxical notecard, search his own iPhone for signs of consciousness, and show off the portable pot of uranium he purchased, curiously enough, off the Internet. Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know—to understand the physical world and the laws of nature. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things simply beyond the predictive powers of science? Or are those challenges the next big discovery waiting to happen? In The Great Unknown, one of the world’s most beloved mathematicians takes us into the minds of science’s greatest innovators as he probes the many deep mysteries we have yet to solve. He reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery and takes us on a whirlwind tour of seven frontiers of knowledge, where scientists are grappling with the unknown. Can you locate consciousness in the brain? Is our universe infinite? What is dark energy made of? What happens to time in space? Is it possible to beat ageing? At once exhilarating and mind-bending, The Great Unknown will challenge you to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world. It invites us to consider big questions—about who we are and the nature of God—that even the most creative scientists have yet to answer definitively.
Author: Brian Keating
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
The inside story of a quest to unlock one of cosmology’s biggest mysteries, derailed by the lure of the Nobel Prize. What would it have been like to be an eyewitness to the Big Bang? In 2014, astronomers wielding BICEP2, the most powerful cosmology telescope ever made, revealed that they’d glimpsed the spark that ignited the Big Bang. Millions around the world tuned in to the announcement broadcast live from Harvard University, immediately igniting rumors of an imminent Nobel Prize. But had these cosmologists truly read the cosmic prologue or, swept up in Nobel dreams, had they been deceived by a galactic mirage? In Losing the Nobel Prize, cosmologist and inventor of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment Brian Keating tells the inside story of BICEP2’s mesmerizing discovery and the scientific drama that ensued. In an adventure story that spans the globe from Rhode Island to the South Pole, from California to Chile, Keating takes us on a personal journey of revelation and discovery, bringing to vivid life the highly competitive, take-no-prisoners, publish-or-perish world of modern science. Along the way, he provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize, instead of advancing scientific progress, may actually hamper it, encouraging speed and greed while punishing collaboration and bold innovation. In a thoughtful reappraisal of the wishes of Alfred Nobel, Keating offers practical solutions for reforming the prize, providing a vision of a scientific future in which cosmologists may, finally, be able to see all the way back to the very beginning.
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
With unparalleled wit, clarity, and intelligence, Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most renowned evolutionary biologists, has introduced countless readers to the wonders of science in works such as The Selfish Gene. Now, in The Ancestor's Tale, Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billion years ago. Throughout the journey Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and a riveting read.
From TALENs, ZFNs and CRISPRs to Molecular Surgery
Author: Krishnarao Appasani
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A complete guide to endonuclease-based genomic engineering, from basic science to application in disease biology and clinical treatment.
From Microbiomes to CRISPR
Author: Pascale Cossart
In The New Microbiology, Pascale Cossart tells a splendid story about the revolution in microbiology, especially in bacteriology.
Climate Change and Andean Society
Author: Mark Carey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Global climate change has triggered profound changes at the ground level and for real people. This book illustrates in vivid detail how 25,000 Peruvian residents died from melting Andean glaciers. Successful engineering efforts to prevent additional catastrophes simultaneously helped commodify glaciers, erode local authority, and unleash contested modernization agendas in the Andes.
Inside the Science of the Engineered Human
Author: Adam Piore
Fareed Zakaria GPS Book of the Week Weaving together vivid storytelling and groundbreaking science, The Body Builders explores the current revolution in human augmentation, which is helping us to triumph over the limitations and constraints we have long accepted as an inevitable part of being human For millennia, humans have tried—and often failed—to master nature and transcend our limits. But this has started to change. The new scientific frontier is the human body: the greatest engineers of our generation have turned their sights inward, and their work is beginning to revolutionize mankind. In The Body Builders, Adam Piore takes us on a fascinating journey into the field of bioengineering—which can be used to reverse engineer, rebuild, and augment human beings—and paints a vivid portrait of the people at its center. Chronicling the ways new technology has retooled our physical expectations and mental processes, Piore visits people who have regrown parts of their fingers and legs in the wake of terrible traumas, tries on a muscle suit that allows him to lift ninety pounds with his fingertips, dips into the race to create “Viagra for the brain,” and shadows the doctors trying to give mute patients the ability to communicate telepathically. As science continues to lay bare the mysteries of human performance, it is helping us to see—and exist—above our expectations. The Body Builders will take readers beyond the headlines and the hype to introduce them to the inner workings and the outer reaches of our bodies and minds, and explore how new developments are changing, and will forever change, what is possible for humankind.