The Genome War: How Craig Venter Tried to Capture the Code of Life and Save the World
On May 10, 1998, biologist Craig Venter, director of the Institute for Genomic Research, announced that he was forming a private company that within three years would unravel t ...more
Originally the Human Genome project was publicly funded, and included many of the brightest human geneticists in the world. In addition to being brilliant scientists, this group contained some fascinating personalities. The author does an excellent job of conveying these often extreme personalities and setting the scene for what would eventually escalate into the scientific equivalen ...more
Before reading The Genome War, I idolized the forefathers of genetics (Mendel, Darwin, Watson, McClintock, etc.). Because of ...more
The author follows J Craig Venter, who is a scientist/entrepeneur who is a little full of himself. His company declares that it will map the whole human genome---but at the same time, there is a HUGE effort funded by the feds to do exactly that. Venter claims that his method will go much faster, and so the academics should just stop and do something else instead. Yeah, that goes over well. But the author is granted access from this beginning point. Well, to the company's doings, so we ...more
Though he might be admired for his lofty scientific goals, Venter is not a well-liked man. At the time in question, the government called him "Darth Vader." Shreeve merely describes him both as "an inspiration" and an "opportunistic maniac." Genome War pays close attention to this ego-driven biologist. Despite his facade, he comes across as a complex man with deep insecurities. Shreeve, who gained full access to Celera, handles technical information well and reveals the inner bowels of the compa...more
James Shreeve gives a close account of all the events that led up to the sequencing of human genome, including politics, science, business, legal issues and personal relations. What's more, is that a lay reader who understands nothing about genes or molecular biology ...more
Past the half-way point I began to feel it was getting rather repetitive and struggled to keep going but I did because I wanted to see the main "plot" resolved.