In Search of the Double Helix: Quantum Physics and Life

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9780070247406: In Search of the Double Helix: Quantum Physics and Life

UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF LIFE ON EARTH The search began with Darwin's historic voyage on the Beagle and it continues today in the laboratories of the genetic engineers. How did life on earth begin? What is the key to evolution that insures only the fittest survive? How do we differ from other species? And how might tomorrow's scientists read—and alter—the biological blueprint to eliminate disease, birth defects, and even create new life forms? Acclaimed science writer John Gribbin draws on his expertise in quantum physics to tell the story of one of the greatest and most dramatic of scientific discoveries. His search for the elusive double helix takes us through the twists and turns of disappointment and discovery on a fascinating quest to the source of life itself. In clear, straightforward language, he presents the lives and thoughts of the men and women whose pioneering work in physics, biology, genetics, and chemistry combined to provide a basic understanding of how life evolved—and continues to evolve—on earth. He follows the trail of discovery from X-rays, mutations, quantum mechanics, the molecular clock, and sexual reproduction—all the way to the innermost workings of the human cell. And he shows how modern science first learned to "crack" the genetic code of life and the profound consequences this new knowledge will have on our future.

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About the Author:

Dr John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge before becoming a full-time science writer. He has worked for the science journal Nature, and the magazine New Scientist and has contributed articles on science topics to The Times, the Guardian and the Independent, and has made several acclaimed science series for BBC Radio 4. John Gribbin has received awards for his writing in both Britain and the United States and is currently a visiting Fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. His many books include In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat, Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science (with Michael White) and In Search of SUSY. John Gribbin is also the author of several science fiction works including Innervisions. He is married with two sons and lives in East Sussex. More books from John Gribbin are available at: http://ReAnimus.com/authors/johngribbin

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