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by James D. Watson
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Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Author:
    James D. Watson
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    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1st edition (June 1, 2000)
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    250 pages
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    Medicine & Health Sciences
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From The New England Journal of Medicine

Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Are you an author? Learn about Author Central. James D. Watson (Author). From The New England Journal of Medicine. In A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society, James Watson once again proves that he is the "prose laureate" of biomedical sciences.

A Passion for DNA book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

James Dewey Watson James D. Watson was born on April 6, 1928. In 1988 he served as Director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health, a massive project to decipher the entire genetic code of the human species. Watson was an extremely industrious student and entered the University of Chicago when he was only 15. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology four years later, and went on to earn a P. in the same subject at Indiana University. Watson has received many awards and medals for his work, along with the Nobel Prize, he has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A Passion for Bible Pounding. com User, September 3, 2000.

Watson, James D. 2000. A passion for DNA; Genes, genomes and society. Watson, James D. 1973. Escalating the war on cancer. Science Year: A World Book Science Annual, pp. 24-32. 1975. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. 2002. Genes, girls and Gamow: after the double helix. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (also published by Oxford University Press in United Kingdom). with Berry, Andrew. The dissemination of unpublished information.

A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society (2000). The different sides of Jim Watson's persona emerge vividly also from the remembered lessons detailed at the end of each chapter. Some may prove more useful than others

A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society (2000). Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the. Double Helix (2002). DNA: The Secret of Life (2003). Some may prove more useful than others. The advice to Expect to put on weight after Stockholm is not, alas, relevant for most readers, but Work on Sundays does have larger application. So, too, the wisdom of Don't back schemes that demand miracles.

Maxine Singer, Paul Berg.

Authors and affiliations.

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.

great condition
Chris, I've been reading Watson's new book "a passion forDNA". Autobiographical writings on the thought process and earlyDNA players of the 40s 50s and 60s, as well as some more recent musings on recombinant DNA, cancer and the genome.
Very well done! Gives an appreciation for how the obvious can be overlooked, and how difficult it is to break out of old ways of thinking. And the man writes very well... and he shares my politics... hes obviously a genius.
Many insights about who did what, who succeded, who fell short. Good short pieces on Luria, Pauling and Hershey. Points out Caltech's shabby treatment of Pauling on his retirement... they didnt like HIS politics!
I hadn't realized that Alex Rich played an important role in studying the structure of DNA and RNA right at the beginning (the 50s) looking for DNA like structure in RNA, (with Watson at caltech) - they didnt find much and were stumped - though Alex later showed that copolymers of RNA can have double helical structure. And did you know that Francis Crick, in 1968, argued that RNA must have been the original genetic molecule... and that it might act as an enzyme catalyzing its own replication! How right he was. Shades of Ribozyme!
So am I making myself clear... buy this book...
James D. Watson's "A Passion For DNA, Genes, Genomes, and Society," Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2000, is an interesting historical and non-technical read of 25 essays on a variety of topics dear to his interests. His keen assessment of various individuals and groups that impacted the progress of DNA research can be appreciated by all readers both technical and non-technical.
However, with all respect, I must point out that Dr. Watson departs from his scientific principals when he promotes his positions in the "...ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of the new resulting genetic knowledge." [Genes and Politics, p.202]. Especially when he concludes "Thus I do not see genetic diseases in any way as an expression of the complex will of any supernatural authority, but rather as random tragedies that we should do everything in our power to prevent. There is, of course nothing pleasant about terminating the existence of a genetically disabled fetus. But doing so is incomparably more compassionate than allowing an infant to come into the world tragically impaired." [Good Gene, Bad Gene, p. 225]. Jim Watson then takes the position that since "terminating the existence of a genetically disabled fetus" is a "good," only "...the potential mother should have this authority.," never the government, ibid. p. 225.
I see no evidence that Dr. Watson has ever studied "ethics" and/or other philosophical positions that utilize principals and methodologies that "scientifically" examine questions concerning the possibility of the existence of "human souls," the possibility of their immortality, and the nature of their origin, i.e., the possibility of their Divine creation. By restricting himself exclusively to the possibility that all there is to human life is "physical" reality studied in his career as "biological reality," it is inevitable that Dr. Watson's ethical positions concerning the "good" for individuals, families and society be measured and evaluated exclusively in terms of the consequences of physical "evils" and other "random tragedies" generated by the "horrors of genetic disease." Ibid. pp. 224-225.
With no demonstrated knowledge of the existence, or proof of the lack of existence, of human souls, their origin and destinies, Dr. Watson is on very shaky ground "scientifically" to be suggesting this type of solution, i.e., termination of the existence of genetically disabled fetuses, for "victims of unlucky throws of the genetic dice." Ibid. p. 224-225.
For those of us who have established "scientifically" and thus have validly established that the human soul is immaterial and what is more, is immortal, and whose existence as an immortal soul is due to the efficient causality of an uncaused cause, i.e., God, our ethical principals support the "compassionate" caring for the genetically deformed by not only the individuals who they are born to but, also as an obligation of society since this care most often exceeds the resources of any one or two individuals. This position can only be understood by those who either have the knowledge of these truths arrived at by the use of reason and logic (philosophy) or by the tenets of a revealed "faith" (scripture and theology). Yes, Dr. Watson, you believe that the "evolutionary process operating under the Darwinian principles of natural selection" is the only explanation for the existence of "human as well as all other forms of life" Ethical Implications, p. 175, precisely because your scientific method is restricted strictly to the material, physical and hence measurable aspects of existence. But have you examined the arguments (including the starting points and methods) of those of us who do see "evidence for the sanctity (holiness) of life."? You certainly don't present and evidence in your essays of this book that you have, you only present a biased assertion.
I agree with Dr. Watson's principal on page 225, Good Gene, Bad Gene, "Working intelligently and wisely to see that good genes - not bad ones - dominate as many lives as possible is the truly moral way for us to proceed." But this principal does not support "terminating the existence of a genetically disabled fetus" but rather more humanly and Divinely supports the hard work of intelligent research and development of technologies that reduces the possibilities of future "unlucky throws of the genetic dice" happening or occurring before conception or that supports life supportive therapies during fetal growth and after birth resulting in the elimination of or the reduction of genetic disease. As Dr. Watson has said in another place, "Good luck with hard work." I second that!
The man is a genius - Nudge, Nudge say no more. To say the J. Watson has insight is an understatement. Plus he writes in a very understandable way.