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Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Unraveling the Double Helix covers the most colorful period in the history of DNA, from the discovery of "nuclein" in the late 1860s to the publication of James Watson's The Double Helix in 1968. These hundred years included the establishment of the Nobel Prize, antibiotics, x-ray crystallography, the atom bomb and two devastating world wars—events which are strung along t ...more
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Pegasus Books
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Katherine L
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
“We all stand on each other’s shoulders”
- Rosalind Franklin

This book is an incredibly thorough journey through scientific history, and an excellent reminder that no scientist works alone or without some foundation in what has come before. This sort of book should be required reading for students of science - a reminder that even the gods of science are usually just the lucky ones among the multitudes who work tirelessly for the advancement of knowledge.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a book taken in small bites rather than as a binge, but it was enjoyable. It’s a thoroughly researched and well told story of how scientific knowledge advanced from the first identification of a new nuclear substance in 1869 to Watson and Crick’s sleight of hand in 1953 to win the Nobel for the “discovery” of DNA structure. Aside from Mendel, there aren’t many saints in this bunch!
Louis-Berthier Soulliere
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ce livre permet de percer le voile de la découverte de l'ADN en présentant les nombreux évènements et acteurs qui y ont participé. Le livre a les défauts de ses qualités, car on se retrouve rapidement innondé de personnages et une deuxième lecture serait à mon sens bénéfique. On y découvre la passion des chercheurs, leurs différents caractères et leurs intrications personnelles et professionnelles. De plus, j'en ressort avec une meilleure compréhension (quand même très limitée), de cette structu ...more
Frances Pearson
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The most sciencey book I've ever read... and I coped. Couldn't always understand the science and I didn't totally like the style, but the personalities gripped me and that's a testimony to the author. Next I want to read The Search by C P Snow which apparently is based on JD Bernal, who's a central real life character in this book. If a book makes you want to go and read more on related topics, then it's a 4
gillian alessio
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting read. I enjoyed the history behind the discovery of the structure of DNA. The writing was very good. The subject matter was at times difficult but, in my experience, a good, somewhat difficult, book engages my curiosity and motivates me to learn more about this topic and related subject matter. Mr. Williams definitely peaked my interest to learn more about DNA.
The Inquisitive Biologist
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Deeply researched and wonderfully written, Unravelling the Double Helix celebrates the many forgotten scientists who contributed to the discovery of DNA and restores them to their rightful place in history. See my full review at ...more
Neeraja Sankaran
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm writing very long review for this book for a journal and when that's published will provide a link. Until then, I have take my hat off to a writer who has skillfully woven together many more strands than DNA has to provide a narrative that loses neither the plot nor the forest for the trees.
Hemhek Song
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Fun read, from the clever title until the last page. A great introduction to DNA, and the incremental progress of science.
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