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Anthony Smith
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Microbiology Today
Jeff Bond

James Watson

A Passion for DNA

James D. Watson is a controversial figure, with his strong support for gene therapy and genetic modification of plants and animals , and a greater belief in genetic determinism than most geneticists. A Passion for DNA allows the reader to see some of the reasoning behind Watson's beliefs. The book is a collection of essays written by Watson at various times between 1966 and 1999, and we see how he feels that worries about Recombinant DNA were politically stirred up, with no real evidence of danger. He also writes about his views on the ethos of science, on the different approaches to the 'War on Cancer' and on the implication of the Human Genome project.

The book starts off with various autobiographical essays, looking at the background to the discovery of the double helix and what followed it. I felt that these had quite a bit of jargon - more suited for those who are involved in molecular biology. However, these are followed by essays which are more suited for the general reader, with some of them being based on talks which he has given. I felt that the book gives an better insight into Watson as a person than some of the other books he has written - showing in particular his favour of individual choice and his dislike of state control.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 266 pages  
ISBN: 0879696095
Salesrank: 3172526
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 2001 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Amazon price $16.00
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 270 pages  
ISBN: 0198604289
Salesrank: 1565251
Weight:0.57 lbs
Published: 2001 OUP Oxford
Amazon price £25.99
Marketplace:New from £18.99:Used from £0.27
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 264 pages  
ISBN: 0879696095
Salesrank: 4005043
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 2001 Cold Spring Harbor Lab Press
Amazon price CDN$ 18.50
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 18.50:Used from CDN$ 0.38
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Product Description
A principal architect and visionary of the new biology, a Nobel Prize-winner at 34 and best-selling author at 40 (The Double Helix), James D. Watson had the authority, flair, and courage to take an early and prominent role as commentator on the march of DNA science and its implications for society. In essays for publications large and small, and in lectures around the world, he delivered what were, in effect, dispatches from the front lines of the revolution. Outspoken and sparkling with ideas and opinions, a selection of them is collected for the first time in this volume. Their resonance with today's headlines is striking.