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Gene Machine - The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome
by Venki Ramakrishnan
Basic Books | November 2018 | ISBN-10: 0465093361 | 286 Pages | True PDF | 37.97 MB

https://www.amazon.com/Gene-Machine-Decipher-Secrets-Ribosome/dp/0465093361

A Nobel Prize-winning biologist tells the riveting story of his race to discover the inner workings of biology's most important molecule
Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome-an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms-that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science.


About the Author
Venki Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for uncovering the structure of the ribosome. He is a senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and also the president of the Royal Society in London.

CONTENTS
Foreword by Jennifer Doudna ix
Prologue xi
CHAPTER 1 An Unexpected Change of Plans in America 1
CHAPTER 2 Stumbling into the Ribosome 9
CHAPTER 3 Seeing the Invisible 27
CHAPTER 4 The First Crystals of the Machine 41
CHAPTER 5 Going to the Mecca of Crystallography 57
CHAPTER 6 Emerging from the Primordial Mist 71
CHAPTER 7 A Threshold Is Crossed 81
CHAPTER 8 The Race Begins 95
CHAPTER 9 Getting Started in Utah 107
CHAPTER 10 A Return to Mecca 123
CHAPTER 11 Coming Out of the Closet 135
CHAPTER 12 Almost Missing the Boat 147
CHAPTER 13 The Final Assault 163
CHAPTER 14 Seeing the New Continent 177
CHAPTER 15 The Politics of Recognition 187
CHAPTER 16 The Ribosome Road Show 197
CHAPTER 17 The Movie Emerges 211
CHAPTER 18 The Phone Call in October 227
CHAPTER 19 A Week in Stockholm 239
CHAPTER 20 Science Marches On 249
EPILOGUE 257
Acknowledgements 265
Notes and Suggested Reading 267


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