Creation: The Origin of Life / The Future of Life

Adam Rutherford

Creation: The Origin of Life / The Future of Life

The Origin of Life takes the reader on a gripping, four-billion-year journey of discovery to explain what life is, where it came from and in what form it first appeared. From interplanetary collisions to the inner-workings of cells and genes, it offers answers to the very grandest of questions before arriving at a thrilling solution to the greatest detective story of them all. The Future of Life introduces a new chapter in human history: living technology. Our mastery of genetics now allows us to create entirely new life-forms within the laboratory - goats that produce spider silk in their milk, bacteria that excrete diesel, cells that identify and destroy tumours - but this revolutionary technology is fraught with controversy, not least the fear of bioterrorism. While introducing us to these remarkable innovations and explaining how they work, Adam Rutherford presents a powerful argument for their benefit to humankind. 4.1 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Creation: The Origin of Life / The Future of Life

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Science & Nature
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication April 2013
ISBN 978-0670920440
Publisher Viking
 

The Origin of Life takes the reader on a gripping, four-billion-year journey of discovery to explain what life is, where it came from and in what form it first appeared. From interplanetary collisions to the inner-workings of cells and genes, it offers answers to the very grandest of questions before arriving at a thrilling solution to the greatest detective story of them all. The Future of Life introduces a new chapter in human history: living technology. Our mastery of genetics now allows us to create entirely new life-forms within the laboratory - goats that produce spider silk in their milk, bacteria that excrete diesel, cells that identify and destroy tumours - but this revolutionary technology is fraught with controversy, not least the fear of bioterrorism. While introducing us to these remarkable innovations and explaining how they work, Adam Rutherford presents a powerful argument for their benefit to humankind.

Reviews

The Observer

Nick Lane

Some of the writing here is finely wrought, with virtuoso passages bringing to life the mundanity of a paper cut, or explaining why zircon crystals used in cheap jewellery give a window into the deepest recesses of time. There are also some workmanlike passages written in the third person, which can come as a relief; too much virtuosity is hard to bear. There are a few trivial errors scattered through the text, but you will not find a better, more balanced or up-to-date take on either the origin of life or synthetic biology.

07/04/2013

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The Sunday Telegraph

Caspar Henderson

The Future of Life is an efficient, accessible overview of developments in synthetic biology to date. Rutherford makes a strong case for considered, well-informed debate regarding its potential benefits and possible dangers. The extraordinary science and his argument are worth every reader’s scrutiny.

03/04/2013

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The Sunday Times

Ian Critchley

The two sections can be read independently, and in any order, though as the geneticist Adam Rutherford points out, each feeds into the other: work on the synthetic modification of DNA provides insights into how it originally came into being, and vice versa. Taken as a whole, the two halves add up to a fascinating glimpse into our past and future.

14/04/2013

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The Guardian

Peter Forbes

Rutherford tells his stories with great brio and a disarming line in personal commentary … At fewer than 250 pages, Creation is the perfect primer on the past and future of DNA.

30/03/2013

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