By J. Craig Venter

The effective memoir of the fellow at the back of one of many maximum feats in clinical history

Of the entire clinical achievements of the earlier century, might be none can fit the interpreting of the human genetic code, either for its technical brilliance and for its implications for our destiny. In A existence Decoded, J. Craig Venter strains his upward thrust from an uninspired scholar to 1 of the main interesting and debatable figures in technological know-how this day. right here, Venter relates the extraordinary drama of the search to decode the human genome?a target he estimated he may perhaps in attaining years prior and extra affordably than the government-sponsored Human Genome undertaking, and person who he fulfilled in 2001. an exhilarating tale of detection, A lifestyles Decoded can also be a revealing, and infrequently troubling, examine how technological know-how is practiced today.

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Extra resources for A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life

Sample text

While the interpretation of D N A is very m u c h a work in progress, and sheds only a weak light on m y destiny, we have arrived at a uniquely fascinating point in h u m a n history as we develop the ability not only to connect our own existence to our evolutionary past but, for the first time, to begin to see what the future has in store for us. Still, one of the most profound discoveries that I have made in all m y research is that you cannot define a h u m a n life or any life based on D N A alone.

M y early years were hardly a model of focus, discipline, and direction. N o one who met me as a teenager could have imagined m y going into research and making impor­ tant discoveries. N o one could have predicted the arc of m y career. N o one could have seen m e rise to h e a d a major research effort. A n d certainly no one could have foreseen the war of words in which I became embroiled, let alone held out m u c h hope that I could ever beat the establishment. O n e of the fundamental discoveries I m a d e about myself—early enough to make use of it—was that I am driven to seize life and to understand it.

Richard Dawkins DNA provides the music. Our cells and the environment provide the orchestra. —J. Craig Venter T raditional autobiography has generally had a p o o r press. T h e novelist D a p h n e d u Maurier condemned all examples of this literary form as selfindulgent. Others have quipped that autobiography reveals n o t h i n g bad about its writer except his memory. " His reason? " Because I have been fortunate enough to take part in one of the greatest, most exciting, and, potentially, most beneficial scientific adventures of all time, I believe m y story is a story well worth telling—even more so because it became so controversial, for political, economic, and scientific reasons—but I am well aware of the research that shows that m e m o r y is notoriously malleable.

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