Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project by Victor K. McElheny

By Victor K. McElheny

Drawing the Map of Life takes the tale of the Human Genome undertaking from its origins, during the race to its accomplishment, and directly to today’s huge efforts to take advantage of the entire, ordered series of the three billion subunits of DNA, the molecule of heredity. it's the first account to deal extensive and stability with the highbrow roots of the undertaking, the motivations that drove it, and the hype that frequently masked actual triumphs. McElheny profiles key humans, corresponding to David Botstein, Eric Lander, Francis Collins, Watson, Michael Hunkapiller and Craig Venter. He additionally indicates that, along with being a big occasion within the background of technological know-how, person who is revolutionizing medication, the Human Genome undertaking is a outstanding instance of the way new innovations and tools (such as restrict enzymes and sequencing methods), frequently arriving first, form the kind of questions scientists then ask.

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After more than a year of quiet, often frustrating experiments, Mullis began telling his colleagues what he was up to. Many at Cetus were certain that it would not work. Mullis was constantly coming up with ideas that didn’t pan out. But managers were intrigued enough to give him a chance to prove his assertions and to forgive a physical fight with colleagues. There also were doubts about whether there was a market for PCR. Which scientists would want so much DNA? And would Mullis move fast to develop his idea?

Skolnick remarked how helpful these antigen genes were in marking the location of the hemochromatosis gene. Botstein looked silently and intently toward Davis. Then Botstein started talking, with occasional interjections from the soft-spoken Davis. He outlined the possibility that analogous markers were scattered throughout the DNA of human chromosomes, near many other disease genes. ” Their confidence was based first of all on the restriction enzymes, the “molecular scissors” found by Hamilton Smith and his successors, who subsequently discovered hundreds more.

He swept through grade school, high school, university, and medical school about three years ahead of schedule, but he became interested in biological research and published his first solo scientific paper 16 DRAWING THE MAP OF LIFE in 1946 at the age of nineteen. In 1952, having determined to study molecular biology, which was impossible without leaving South Africa, he went to Oxford and won his doctorate there. In April 1953, he and his friends, crystallographer Jack Dunitz and chemist Leslie Orgel, drove over to Cambridge to see the Watson-Crick model of DNA just after it was built.

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