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Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior Paperback – April 4, 2000
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Weiner (whose last book, The Beak of the Finch, won a Pulitzer Prize) has written an affectionate history about the development of the science while offering charming glimpses of the people involved--trading haircuts to stretch their grant money in the early years, roaming the laboratory into the wee hours, naming the genes associated with learning after Pavlov's dogs. It's not all sweetness and light, however; ethical questions are raised, some of the hype (and hysteria) surrounding the human genome project is dissipated, and the complicated "clockwork" gene "looks less like an invitation to human intervention and more like a cautionary tale or object lesson for anyone who might try, in the 21st century, to improve on nature's four-billion-year-old designs." That said, the scientists in Weiner's tale reveal a very human side of this fast-moving science, and their belief that they'll find answers to important questions is contagious and compelling. As Benzer himself said, "It's a wonderful, fabulous world, and it's been kicking around a long time." --C.B. Delaney --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
If you think that human nature is largely a result of nurture and you wish to hang on to this belief for dear life, be very afraid, this is not your book.
The book is well written with lots of interviews and original research by the author who already has proven his chops as a science writer. If biology, evolution or genetics is an interest, this is your book.
Anyway, if you are looking at insights into this period of the development of molecular biology and the way it has defined the fields of the life-sciences, look no further than this book.
Jonathan Weiner's relation of a century of research teasing into view DNA's mechanisms for guiding behaviour is a brilliant piece of science writing. His focus is Seymour Benzer and his research team studied flies, recording how changing conditions modified conduct. It became clear that 'dumb' animals could adapt through learning. Not only adapt, but retain memories to repeat the new behaviour when needed. By the end of the 20th Century, the research began to identify where along the structure of DNA the operational level of these behaviour codes resided. As often as not a single 'letter' change in the gene was found to trigger the change. More immediately, the information revealed in fruit flies was repeated in other animals. Duplicating the finds in mammals has overwhelming implications for humans.
Weiner's account is forcefully presented in a clear, direct style. This book is a supreme example science writing at its very summit. He offer no judgements of his own.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was such fun. My science background is a bit heavy on physics, not so much on biology. This was perfect for the educated generalist, good stories, detailed examples, clear... Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Sweeney
Weiner is capable of describing complex data and thorny hypotheses with great clarity. His tale of Seymour Benzer was filled with the small anecdotes that we all shared about this... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I had already read a library copy and want to re-read it again.
A great man.
Excellent for understanding the field's development.
When I went to order a copy of "The Beak of the Finch" for a friend I discovered that Jonathan Weiner had also written this book. Read morePublished on April 2, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Excellent story - a non-fiction detective story showing how science works
I've bought several copies to share with friends after reading it myself
I had to read this book for a class I was taking, and surprisingly enough it was quite an interesting read. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by The Dragon's Inkpot
I picked this book up more or less randomly and I am certainly not a specialist, beyond a few college courses. Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by Jonathan Groner
'Time, Love, Memory' presents a well-written and consistently interesting history of modern biology. Read morePublished on March 20, 2012 by Jonathan