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Glowing Genes: A Revolution In Biotechnology Hardcover – February 1, 2005
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The painstaking process that various scientists performed in order to obtain flouresent proteins from living organisms, artificially synthesize these proteins, and even to modify their related genes to obtain different colors and timings makes for a good narrative. Bioluminiscent organisms emit their "own" light: fireflies produce "luciferin + luciferase" that together emit light, while jellyfish (medusas) produce a green fluorescent protein (GFP) which in turn can produce a blue light in the presence of certain minerals. Fluorescent organisms, like corals, need to receive certain external radiation to fluoresce.
Fluorescent genes can be used as protein or gene markers (tags).Read more ›
· I have become more sensitive to and interested in the benefits of research done for the sake of discovering secrets of nature, as opposed to primarily profit motivated research.
· I believe to understand that not all cloning of animals is harmful, that the pros and cons have to be weighed in each case,
· And having read "Glowing Genes" and Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything", I often wonder how many inventors and first discoverers are forgotten or intentionally not recorded.
Reading "Glowing Genes" is a fun-tour of discovery. My mostly outdated High School Science seems to have been enough background to understand the well explained complex issues. I did have problems though with chapter 12. Perhaps I should read it once more.
Having said that, this book really is worth reading, in spite of the style, because the science it describes is riveting. I was vaguely aware of fluorescence as something used by biologists, but the author really does a great job of covering the field; the history, the various ways in which fluorescence is used, the ways in which the essential chemistry of the subject has been modified over the past few years. I'm a sucker for pop science books but, sadly, most of them rehash material that any educated person should already know. It's rare to find one, like this, that not only is packed with material that I did not know but that also manages to weave it all into a coherent narrative.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had an interest in the sciences since I can remember, and am currently majoring in both Biology and Chemistry. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by Ryan
GFP is a must-know in this century if you are a biologist and Marc Zimmer's is a must-read book on the subject.Published on February 7, 2011 by Immortal Faith
Dr. Zimmer's book is enlighting and warm. His antecdotes are charming as is his web site where I found out about the book and ordered it. Thank you Marc.