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Cracking the Genome: Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA
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Cracking the Genome: Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the double helix structure of DNA. The discovery was a profound moment in the history of science, but solving the structure of the genetic material did not reveal what the human genome sequence actually was, or what it says about who we are. Cracking the code of life would take another half a century.

In 2001, two rival teams
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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John Carmichael
Jun 15, 2014 John Carmichael rated it really liked it
Cracking the Genome Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA by Kevin Davies

I sought a book to give me perspective on the major events occurring in the field of genetics since my college course work many, many years ago. This book fulfilled that expectation very well covering up to the period of around 2001. The characters came alive with many interesting anecdotes included. The technical data was presented in a very understandable manner.

I plan to read more of Mr. Davie's works covering events occurring in the last decade.
Shweta Ramdas
Nov 28, 2015 Shweta Ramdas rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Always interesting to learn about the (relatively recent) history of the field you are currently in. The Human Genome Project set the path for the field of research that is now my bread and butter. In this book, Davies takes us through the various discoveries that led to the proposal of the largest project in genetics: the sequencing of the human genome. He does a good job of showcasing science as a collaborative, competitive field populated with strong personalities. The stories of personal riv ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Tianna rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Overall, a very fascinating read. Although it got off to a slow start, once I got to chapters four, five and six, it was worth the time it took to get through the first three chapters. There are so many little gems of knowledge throughout the book that make it worth reading if you are interested in the race that took place to unlock our genome.

Here are a couple little excerpts that I found interesting:

On page 84 I read the following about a gene called BRCA1 that, if mutated, would increase you
Jan 26, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
this is a co-review of "the 1000 genome" (2010) and "cracking the genome" (2000), two of kevin davies' popular texts. i was reading these concurrently, kind of hopping back and forth, and it was an interesting way to do it. in "cracking the genome," he's tracing the history of the human genome project, culminating in a 2001 initial draft sequence. and the promise to revolutionize medicine. then, "1000 genome" chronicles the rise of DTC testing and falling costs of genetic technology (genotyping ...more
Dominick Lemas
Oct 10, 2012 Dominick Lemas rated it liked it
Shelves: genomics
This is the second Kevin Davies book I have read (The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine) genomics and human disease. Cracking the Human Genome records the "decades in the making journey" to sequence the human genome and focuses on the 1990's as the pivotal time in genomics. Prior to reading this book, I was familiar with many of the contemporary personalities (namely Craig Venter & Francis Collins) involved with the Human Genome Project ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Lauren rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
This book gets a little more technical into genetics than I would recommend for a non-science person. It does a good job of outlining the race to decode the human genome and provide insight into the two major competitors. It also brings other interesting facts in that would not necessarily be known or associated with this topic.
Sep 08, 2012 Upasana rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The race to unlock the human genome. Starting with the US Government deciding to fund the project with James Watson resigning and Francis Collins taking over and Craig Venter starting his own private company to decode the book of life faster. Must read for anyone interested in the Human Genome Project.

Jun 17, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must for people who like scientific history. A must for people working with human genome.

* For the personal narrative
* For the Quotes all along chapters
* For a personal opinion in all fields
* For a shared devotion to Craig Venter!

-* For some boring chapters about founder effect
Sep 09, 2009 Kim rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It talks about the story behind the sequencing of the human genome and the implications it has on society. There is a lot of technical jargon, but its an interesting book.
May 31, 2010 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as riveting as the other treatment, but does provide more context both before and after the "race." Particularly good on future directions and literary quotations.
Jennifer Church
Aug 23, 2007 Jennifer Church rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I am still reading this book. Well I left a bookmarker in it which means I will return to it. A very interesting read indeed.
Aug 04, 2007 Djiezes rated it it was ok
Not entirely uninteresting, but I got bored with it halfway and ended up never reading the second half.
Dec 06, 2008 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like stories about science
This book is an easy read, a good story, and a fascinating look at the history of genetics.
Oct 25, 2009 G rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-ground
Meh. Aims to be popular, ends up being too technical.
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Born and raised in London, Kevin Davies studied at Oxford University and moved to the U.S. in 1987 after earning his PhD in genetics. He endured two years at the bench before seeking refuge in the editorial office of Nature magazine. He was the founding editor of the journal Nature Genetics and has also worked at Cell Press and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently the editor of Bio ...more
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