Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA Kindle Edition
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"A fine history of the first 85 years of DNA. A superb chronicle of a scientific struggle with a happy ending." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A history well worth perusing." (Publishers Weekly)--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- Publication Date : April 18, 2019
- File Size : 9979 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson (April 18, 2019)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07GNQ3G25
- Print Length : 499 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,748,008 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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So this book gave me the back story to all the things I had heard about the discovery of DNA - I missed out on Watsons account in the late sixties as even at the time, it was mostly about Watson and nothing about any one else. I hadnt for example realised that Crick and Watson did no practical work at all - they only used and reinterpreted other peoples results. Shades of Lavoisier and Franklin but at least Lavoisier repeated Franklins experiments before he announced the discovery of the element Oxygen ( 1790s). I knew Wilkins had shown the relevant X ray ( no 51) to the boys, but not that by that time, Franklin had virtually lost interest in DNA structure and had moved to something else. And is there a message for kids of today - that they could also do something as world changing ? - No certainly not, read the book and you will see that the past really is a different country - and in other countries they do things differently
The vast majority of this book is interesting, but a few times it seemed to drift off into an irrelevant or poorly explained diversion.
About 20% of the book is given over to Watson and Crick, and the scientists who featured in 'the Double Helix'.
This was especially interesting for me, as it gave (perhaps) a more balanced view of the characters within that book.
The description of Rosalind Franklin was especially interesting for me and. If this is accurate I'd say Watson wasn't too far off the mark with his portrayal of her.
I was hoping for a book that was as good as 'The Double Helix'. To be honest that is an unrealistic expectation, and this book is not at that level of entertainment.
It is however pretty well written and quite engaging. It certainly makes you realise why it took around 100 years of clever experiments before we finally knew the structure of DNA.
I'd say this book would appeal to most scientists. The science didn't seem very difficult, so I guess anyone with an interest in science should be able to enjoy it.
Gareth Williams is an ideal narrator. His persona as author is neither obtrusive nor too self-effacing; he steers a fine line between the two. Many authors are determined to display their erudition and literary skills and simply overwrite the text. In doing so, they often achieve the opposite effect from the one they desire. I have not finished some books like this because the author's insistence on demonstrating their own cleverness gets in the way of the narration. 'The Gene: an intimate history' by Siddhartha Mukherjee is an example.
'Unravelling the Double Helix' reminded me of Richard Rhodes's 'The Story of the Atomic Bomb' in starting mid-nineteenth century and describing the multiple contributors to the ultimate achievement of the desired result in the mid-twentieth, their lives, struggles, personal qualities.
This is a great story, splendidly told. Thank you Gareth Williams.
A great read!!