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by Andrew Brown
Download In the Beginning Was the Worm : Finding the Secrets of Life in a Tiny Hermaphrodite fb2
Biological Sciences
  • Author:
    Andrew Brown
  • ISBN:
    0743415981
  • ISBN13:
    978-0743415989
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Gardners Books (January 31, 2004)
  • Pages:
    244 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Biological Sciences
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1872 kb
  • ePUB format
    1652 kb
  • DJVU format
    1353 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    741
  • Formats:
    docx rtf doc azw


Brown's book traces the worm project from its inception, as fascinating for the obsessive, almost nerd-like quality of. .What Brown does remarkably well in In the Beginning is to convey the passion, idealism, and cooperative spirit of the early worm workers.

Brown―an award-winning religious affairs journalist and the author of The Darwin Wars (1999)―is at his best when telling the human story behind the scientific work.

Worm" is an engaging book about the beginning of genome sequencing, originating from the focused study of a type of nearly-microscopic, transparent worm

Worm" is an engaging book about the beginning of genome sequencing, originating from the focused study of a type of nearly-microscopic, transparent worm.

Brown’s description of the worm project reveals that Brenner had endeavored to construct a complete map of the worm on at least three different levels.

In the beginning was the worm: Finding the secrets of life in a tiny hermaphrodite. The book opens in the early 1960s, with Sydney Brenner and others at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, United Kingdom, debating their visions for the future path of molecular biology. Brenner believed that a molecular approach could be applied to studies of development and nervous system function and boldly proposed the genetic analysis of a simple eukaryote to accomplish these goals. Brown’s description of the worm project reveals that Brenner had endeavored to construct a complete map of the worm on at least three different levels.

Book Description: This is the story of how three men won the Nobel Prize . The worm need not have been the animal whose genome led directly to the human’s.

In 1998 the nematode worm - perhaps the most intensively studied animal on earth - was the first multicellular organism ever to have its genome sequenced and its DNA mapped and read.

Brown has been a fierce critic of the Sam Harris' position on torture. "Fishing in Utopia by Andrew Brown".

Sydney Brenner found the nematode worm C. Elegans in 1965. Other Products from hartmannbooks (View All). Helms, Richard and Hood, William. A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life In The Central Intelligence Agency.

Brown's book traces the worm project from its inception, as fascinating for the obsessive, almost nerd-like .

He notes the overwhelming maleness of the scientists, working 15-hour days and neglectful of family responsibilities, yet routinely sustained by female technicians. He contrasts their apparent naivety and openness with the frenetic and money-driven "race" into which some were co-opted when the human sequencing project began.

In this highly informative book, Andrew Brown traces the years of study undertaken by scientists and technicians to cut .

In this highly informative book, Andrew Brown traces the years of study undertaken by scientists and technicians to cut away some of the unknowns to derive answers. The earliest work required understanding how the worm was assembled by its genes. That effort entailed slicing the worm in bits to map all the interconnections. That assessment comes in In the Beginning Was the Worm: Finding the Secrets of Life in a Tiny Hermaphrodite (Columbia University Press) by Andrew Brown.

Andrew Brown is a freelance journalist who writes extensively for the SUNDAY TIMES, the INDEPENDENT and the DAILY MAIL. In 1995 he won the Templeton Prize as the best religious affairs correspondent in Europe. As well as THE DARWIN WARS he is the author of a highly acclaimed book on the London police called WATCHING THE DETECTIVES. 244 pages, no illustrations. Publisher: Simon & Schuster. Bestsellers in Other Invertebrates. Sea Squirts and Sponges of Britain and Ireland.

Brown has done a quite respectable job with this book, and I think it is quite worth reading if you have any interest at all in biology or the history of science. The effort described will serve to confound the deconstructionists, mystics and other quacks of the academy for a long time to come. DonSiano, October 20, 2006. Anyone who reads modern biology soon learns that C. elegans is a major player, but I've never known why it was chosen as a model organism, or what was learned from it. It was for this reason that I picked up this book.

This book is an account of the first great triumph of genomics: the thirty-year struggle to decode the complete DNA of a nematode worm. Success in this was what made the human genome project possible. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORM is an exciting but scrupulous account of a genuine scientific triumph, which will delight both those who know the subject and those who don't. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORM tells of some remarkable characters who have changed our approach to science irrevocably, among them Sydney Brenner, a heroic dreamer who first thought of understanding an animal as a sort of biological Meccano; John Sulston, his first post-doctoral student, who managed to raise GBP30 million; his friend, Bob Horvitz, who has, to all intents and purposes, spent more than thirty years studying the 22 cells of a worm's vulva; and Fred Sanger, the only man to have won two Nobel Prizes in the same discipline. Decades of painstaking research triumphed in 1998, when this worm was the first creature to have all its DNA mapped -- but now what? We still don't know how to build a single worm. In this intriguing story of dreams and disillusionment, Andrew Brown contemplates the next fifty years of biological science, and the way that ignorance expands to surround all available knowledge.

Taulkree
A sleeper, earth-shaking story. It is way more important than it might seem. This is the story of three scientists who made one of the most important scientific discoveries in the history of modern science. And it is possible they don't even realize it. Foundational to the Theory of Evolution is the concept of mutation - in simple terms, copying errors from generation to generation in all living things, plant and animal. Yet, this is a story of the discovery of information management. Huh? DNA carries information...although some would deny it. And, according to Dr Werner Gitt, the only known source of information is a mind. But, how is that information managed, as in c.elegans? How does a living thing get from the first fertilized cell to the full-grown living thing? Is it left to chance? Is it random? Or, is it directed? This is the background story for an amazing discovery that blows holes in the chance development of living things. You might want to watch this video for a synopsis of the discovery. [...]
Kabei
Why do we grow old and die? Amazingly, after more than forty years of research, we still don't know the answers. This book charts the history of one branch of investigation into this thorny problem and does it with verve, style, and wit. In addition it is written with an admirable clarity that will enable non-specialists to grasp not only what was going on during the 30 years people have been studying c. elegans but also why it matters.

The main omission of the book concerns the fact that unlike complex eukaryotes such as reptiles and mammals our small wormy friend does not undergo cell division. Therefore cell-division-related loss-of-information theories about senescence clearly cannot explain why c. elegans lasts less than a month even under ideal conditions. In principle the fact that this non-dividing cellular system actually does grow old and die should teach us something very important about the mechanisms of aging, but alas we are little closer to understanding why these tiny creatures age than we were when the whole enterprise started with Brenner's initial investigations. It would presumably be very illuminating to contrast the all-too-mortal worm with immortal cancer cell lines; somewhere in there are surely the clues we need to get a better understanding of what it means to age.

But this book is a nice primer on the basic issues involved in the study of aging and as such is a welcome addition to the bookshelf.
Golkree
I have been following (from afar) the C. Elegans story for about thirty years. Once I was even motivated enough to try to isolate the worm from some soil so I could play around with it for myself. The attempt failed--I don't know why--but I never lost my vicarious interest in it. This is the first book that I've read that covers the story in a "behind the scenes" way, and I was glad to see it published.

The worm now, is of course, one of the best understood multicellular organisms in all of biology. How it came to be a model organism rivaling the mouse, the fruit fly, and man is an interesting lesson in how science at its best really works. It was a man, Sydney Brenner, with a plan to pick just the right organism that could be used to attack some of the fundamental questions of genetics, development and embryogenesis. The selection of this organism took several years of hard work. It is remarkable that during this start-up of the project, the funding organization, the MRC, supported the work without complaint, even though it was something like five years before publications began to roll out.

The book is written for a general audience, though there is lots here of interest to those who are more acquainted with biology too. The politics and personalities of the effort, now almost fifty years on, are covered in quite a bit of depth and some of it is pretty entertaining. The technical aspects of the research is also explained in enough detail that the reader can follow it pretty easily, though there are a few challenging rough spots too.

This is quite a tale of heroic science getting done with a conviction that unselfish, cooperative, non-commercial, basic research is not only worthwhile, but can be a lot of fun. And these guys clearly had a lot of fun. I think that one of the main reasons, pointed out by the author, was that the researchers were crammed in together with perhaps only a meter of bench space, and often not even a desk, had a lot to do with it. No closed doors, no power point, and no email probably had a lot to do with it too.

The book could have been better organized--the jumping around in time (what decade was this?) sometimes was bothersome to me. The portraits of the scientists were nice to see, but I'd have appreciated some drawings of the worm too. Pictures of the laboratory would have been instructive, I think.

Brown has done a quite respectable job with this book, and I think it is quite worth reading if you have any interest at all in biology or the history of science. The effort described will serve to confound the deconstructionists, mystics and other quacks of the academy for a long time to come.