By Victor K. McElheny
Drawing the Map of Life takes the tale of the Human Genome undertaking from its origins, throughout the race to its accomplishment, and directly to today’s massive efforts to take advantage of the whole, ordered series of the three billion subunits of DNA, the molecule of heredity. it's the first account to deal extensive and stability with the highbrow roots of the venture, the motivations that drove it, and the hype that frequently masked real triumphs. McElheny profiles key humans, equivalent to David Botstein, Eric Lander, Francis Collins, Watson, Michael Hunkapiller and Craig Venter. He additionally exhibits that, in addition to being a big occasion within the historical past of technological know-how, person who is revolutionizing drugs, the Human Genome undertaking is a notable instance of ways new suggestions and tools (such as restrict enzymes and sequencing methods), frequently arriving first, form the kind of questions scientists then ask.
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Additional resources for Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project
At Alta, they also were finishing the syllabus of their genetics course at Cold Spring Harbor that summer. During one graduate student’s presentation, Botstein had a brainstorm. Kerry Kravitz was describing his study of 250 Mormon relatives of ten patients suffering from the often-devastating hereditary iron-excess disorder known as hemochromatosis. Was the gene involved recessive—so that the victim had to have a copy from both parents? Kravitz said he was increasingly sure that it was. It lay on chromosome 6, near the genes for a dozen cell-surface molecules called human leukocyte antigens, or HLAs, which had been discovered in France only three years earlier.
He then settled in Madison, Wisconsin. Baltimore, too, fell under Dulbecco’s influence at Caltech, where he went after taking his PhD at Rockefeller University in 1964. In 1968, Baltimore joined the new cancer research group at MIT that was assembling around Luria, who shared a Nobel Prize in 1969 with Delbrück and Hershey. ” Its strange-sounding name—Baltimore called it “romantic”—reflected how strange its function seemed to biologists. They were used to the idea of a one-way flow of genetic information, from DNA into messenger RNA and then on to proteins.
But the central idea did not take shape until the fall of 1982. This involved a crucial change from Sanger’s methods of labeling each of the four DNA letters with radioactive atoms. The new labels were four distinct dyes. ” When Hood’s group sought grants from NIH, the idea was rejected as impossible. The agency’s reviewers never grasped that “there [were] never any technological limits. It was just figuring out how to get around all the incremental challenges of chemistry and challenges of engineering and challenges of the biology and enzymology and stuff.