Description - The Common Thread by John Sulston
It was a momentous occasion when British scientist John Sulston embarked on the greatest scientific endeavour of our times: the sequencing of the human genome. In this work, Sulston takes us behind the scenes for an in-depth look at the controversial story behind the headlines. The accomplishments and the setbacks - along with all the politics, personalities and ethics - that shaped the research are frankly explored by a central figure key to the project. From the beginning, Sulston fervently proclaimed his believe in the free and open exchange of the scientific information that would emerge from the project. Guided by these principles, The Human Genome Project was structured so that all the findings were public, encouraging an unparalleled international collaboration among scientists and researchers. Then, in May 1998, Craig Venter announced that he was quitting the Human Genome Project - with plans to head up a commercial venture launched to bring out the complete sequence three years hence, but marketed in a proprietary database.
Benter's intentions, clearly anathema to Sulston and the global network of scientists working on the project, marked the beginning of a dramatic struggle to keep the human genome in the public domain. More than the story of human health versus corporate wealth, this is an exploration of the very nature of a scientific quest for discovery. Infused with Sulston's own enthusiasm and excitement, the tale unfolds to reveal the scientists who painstakingly turn the key that will unlock the riddle of the human genome. We are privy to the joy and exuberance of success as well as the stark disappointments posed by inevitable failures. "The Common Thread" is both a history and a call for ethical responsibility in scientific research. As the boundaries between science and big business increasingly blur and researchers race to patent medical discoveries, the international community needs to find a common protocol for the protection of the wider human interest. This enterprise is a glimpse of our shared human heritage, offering hope for future research and a fresh outlook on our understanding of ourselves.
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(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Henry (Joseph) Press
Publisher: National Academies Press
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John Sulston and Georgina Ferry