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Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life
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Lots of up-to-date information on our current understanding of how the code of life, DNA, shapes our destiny. Venter describes is great detail the creation of man-made life in the form of Mycoplasma, "the first living self-replicating species to have a computer as a parent". This was pure science fiction only 20 years ago.
Lots of very-readable historical background information, from Erwin Schroedinger's "What is Life" through many of the key scientific experiments that got us to where we are today.
The (slightly) negative:
Venter's ego sometimes makes him seem somewhat immodest, in my humble opinion.
My recommendation is to read this book in combination with Venter's biography, "A Life Decoded", which in my opinion gives great insight into Craig Venter's thinking. Both of these books are a pleasure to read for anyone curious about the way life works. Science at its best.
Someone floated a rumor (a chief rival?) in the past about Dr. Venter's ego and hubris and all that. When, where? I've never seen that from him and this book is further a credit to all those he works with. When he creates something he just says 'I did this' and I think he's allowed. Dr. Venter has been, like many in his field, one of the great assets to humankind. This book was conversational, like a fireside chat and I consumed it in a day. I couldn't get too much of his brilliance.
One thing I will note about this book, it closes the door on religion, vitalism and mysticism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed the book and the story, as with Venter's other books, weaving story and science together. Even in an audiobook format you could follow it.Published 6 months ago by Robert D. Cormia
A bit complicated but he dreams big and tries to explain clearly. You do need some background education in this subject as it helps draw out the significance.Published 8 months ago by robert stallard
Craig Venter lives at the bleeding edge of life science technology but still has an incredible ability to put what is going on around us in historical perspective. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John Lewis
This is a very difficult book to rank without knowing its intended audience. Your average genetic scientist (if there is such a thing) might find it extremely informative and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lyle Bjork
To be honest, I'm only half way through it, but "what could possibly go wrong" at this point.
I like to refer to Craig Venter as "Craig Christ". Read more
This is a compendium from a series of speeches and essays from J. Craig Venter, covering the discoveries in the field of molecular biology. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michelle Boytim
I loved the parts of the book I could understand, and was inspired to learn more by those parts I did not understand. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Norman A. Pattis
Excellent. Timely. Well written. Great balance of historical background with fresh science. Venter is a proponent of synthetic biology and cells as bonafide natural computers. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Vladimir Zuzukin