Contents

PREFACE ix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

INTRODUCTION xv

1 THE CODE OF LIFE: FRANCIS CRICK,

JAMES WATSON, AND THE STRUCTURE OF DNA 1

A Mystery Molecule 2

The Race Begins 3

The Winning Discovery 5

Solving Problems: X-Ray Crystallography 6

How DNA Reproduces 7

I Was There: The Secret of Life 8

The Genetic Code 10

Other Scientists: Rosalind Franklin 12

Diverging Careers 14

Chronology 16

Further Reading 18

2 GENE SANDWICHES TO GO: HERBERT BOYER, STANLEY N. COHEN, AND THE BIRTH OF

GENETIC ENGINEERING 20

A Chat over Corned Beef 20

The First Gene Splicing 22

Is Genetic Engineering Dangerous? 26

Setting Standards 26

Other Scientists: Paul Berg (1926- ) 27

Issues: Continuing Safety Concerns 28

Bacterial Bonanzas 29

A Winning Product 30

I Was There: The Founding of Genentech 32

Revolutionary Technology 33

Chronology 34

Further Reading 36

3 THE KILLERS INSIDE: MICHAEL BISHOP, HAROLD VARMUS, AND GENES THAT CAUSE CANCER 38

Accidental Scientists 38

Viral Terrorists 40

Connections: Cancer to AIDS 41

Turning a Theory Upside Down 42

Activating Oncogenes 43

Other Scientists: Robert Weinberg (1942- ) 44

The Opposite of Oncogenes 46

Many Steps to Cancer 48

From Research to Administration 49

Social Impact: Cancer and Lifestyle 50

A Complex Picture 51

Chronology 51

Further Reading 53

4 NEW GENES FOR OLD: FRENCH ANDERSON AND

GENE THERAPY 56

Boyhood Dreams 57

A Devastating Disease 58

Connections: Good News-Bad News Genes 59

Moving toward Treatment 60

Small Step, Giant Leap 61

A Girl Called Ashanthi 63

Historic Treatment 63

Social Impact: Designer Babies and Superhumans 66

Gene Therapy's Rocky Road 67

Issues: How Much Risk Is Acceptable? 68

Always an Optimist 69

Chronology 70

Further Reading 71

5 DEATH IN THE FAMILY: NANCY WEXLER AND

GENES FOR INHERITED DISEASES 73

A Deadly Legacy 73

Needle in a Genetic Haystack 75

Connections: An Illness That Changed History 76

Visit to Venezuela 78

Blood, Skin, and DNA 80

Gene Hunters Find Their Prey 81

Social Impact: Genetic Discrimination 83

Other Scientists: Mary-Claire King 85

Immeasurable Love 85

Chronology 87

Further Reading 89

6 THE LIVE-FOREVER WORM: CYNTHIA KENYON

AND THE GENETICS OF AGING 91

New Career Path 91

A Valuable Worm 92

Focus on Aging 93

Other Scientists: Sydney Brenner 94

Parallels: The Discovery of Penicillin 95

Conducting a Genetic Orchestra 96

Genes and Hormones 99

Low Calories, Long Life 100

Search for Antiaging Drugs 101

The Real Fountain of Youth 101

Social Impact: The Dangers of Extending Life 102

Chronology 103

Further Reading 104

7 HELLO, DOLLY: IAN WILMUT AND CLONING 106

Sailor to Farmer to Scientist 106

A Change of Focus 108

Connections: Pharming 109

Rumors of Cloning 110

Stopping Cells in Their Tracks 111

Taking Cloning All the Way 112

The Birth of Dolly 112

A Media Uproar 114

Parallels: Test-tube Babies 115

Dolly the Star 115

From Sheep to People 117

Social Impact: Human Cloning 117

Chronology 119

Further Reading 120

8 OUT OF ONE, MANY: JAMES THOMSON AND EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS 122

Versatile Cells 122

I Was There: Sheets of Skin 124

Hunting an Elusive Quarry 125

From Mice to Monkeys 126

Controversial Research 127

A Groundbreaking Announcement 129

Media Storm 131

Presidential Compromise 132

Issues: Embryos Made to Order 133

Solving Problems: Banking Cord Blood 134

Making New Cell Types 135

Chronology 136

Further Reading 137

9 THE RICE THAT SAVES EYES:

INGO POTRYKUS AND GOLDEN RICE 139

Experience with Hunger 139

A Missing Vitamin 140

Perfect Partners 142

Genetic Breakthrough 143

A Mushrooming Industry 145

Child Saver or Fool's Gold? 146

Trends: Growth of Agricultural Biotechnology 146

Parallels: Frozen Tests for an Ice-fighting Bacterium 148

Center of a Storm 149

Golden Contract 150

Testing Underway 151

Issues: Patenting Living Things 152

Chronology 153

Further Reading 155

10 THE GENOME RACE: FRANCIS COLLINS, CRAIG

VENTER, AND SEQUENCING THE HUMAN GENOME 158

"Big Science" 159

Human Genome Centers 160

Gene Hunter 161

Herding Cats 162

Conversion in Vietnam 163

Shortcuts to Sequencing 164

Solving Problems: Automatic Sequencing Machines 167

Toward the Finish Line 168

Challenging Projects 169

Social Impact: Revolutionary Knowledge 170

End and Beginning 171

Chronology 172

Further Reading 174

CHRONOLOGY 177

GLOSSARY 181

FURTHER RESOURCES 192

INDEX

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