Code Breaker, Walter Isaacson (translation: Connie Secura and Rob de Reeder), Heat Spectrum, 592 pages, € 34.99.
The subtitle for The Code Breaker is: Revolutionary DNA Research of Nobel Prize Winner Jennifer Dodna. But if your worm hadn’t been immersed in RNA from a young age – that only saves a letter, but in genetics that could make a huge difference – you might not have ever participated in the revolutionary cut and paste technology that changed the world of genetic modification on its head. : CRISPR-Cas.
Walter Isaacson, biographer of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, among others, studied how science came to this through common forces. Leading role of the 2020 Nobel Prize Winner American researcher Dodna in Chemistry together with Emmanuel Charpentier. Incredibly fast, because CRISPR-Cas was ten years old at the award ceremony.
There is much to say about the many controversies over who discovered it, over who tried or not tried to isolate the other person in the posts, who was his mentor stalking him the most, who got his patents. The name. It can write, and especially: What you can use it for. From time to time this results in a wonderful book, illustrating just how exciting the basic sciences can be. But no matter how often it is emphasized that the desire to compete is essential to making great discoveries, it remains sad how these highly-educated species interact with each other. It’s also stressful at times, too, because no PhD student shook hands with Doudna, who Isaacson never figured out where he grew up, or which school he went to. By the time Isaacson introduces another group of researchers to deepen their activities around the coronavirus, the reader was hanging on the ropes.