Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix

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9780375412837: Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix

FROM THE PUBLISHER (Alfred A. Knopf): Immediately following the revolutionary discovery of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, the world of molecular biology was caught up in a gold rush. The goal: to uncover the secrets of life that the newly elucidated molecule promised to reveal. Genes, Girls, and Gamow is James Watson's report on the amazing aftermath of the DNA breakthrough, picking up where his now classic memoir, The Double Helix, leaves off.

Here are the collaborations and collisions of giants, not only Watson and Crick themselves, but also legions of others, including Linus Pauling (the greatest chemist of the day), Richard Feynman (the bongoplaying cynosure of Caltech), and especially George Gamow, the bearlike, whiskeywielding Russian physicist, who had turned his formidable intellect to the field of genetics; with Gamowan irrepressible prankster to bootWatson would found the legendary RNA Tie Club.

But Watsonat twentyfive already the winner of genetic research's greatest jackpotis obsessed with another goal as well: to find love, and a wife equal to his unexpected fame. As he and an international cast of roguish young colleagues do important research they also compare notes and share complaints on the scarcity of eligible mates. And amid the feverish search for the role of the then still mysterious RNA molecule, Watson's thoughts are seldom far from the supreme object of his desire, an enthralling Swarthmore coed who also happens to be the daughter of Harvard's most eminent biologist.

Part scientific apprenticeship, part sentimental education, Genes, Girls, and Gamow is a penetrating revelation of how great science is accomplished. It is also a charmingly candid account of one young man's full range of ambitions.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Review:

Readers unfamiliar with James D. Watson's previous memoir, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, may be surprised that his new one pays as much attention to his pursuit of the perfect woman as to the pursuit of knowledge. But Watson's 1968 book wasn't a bestseller because of its scientific material (though it was lucidly written for the general public); it was his candid portrait of professional rivalries, consuming ambition, and personal eccentricities that made it both popular and controversial. Even today, Watson's lively prose and decidedly frank opinions are still far from the norm. Oh sure, Girls, Genes, and Gamow contains plenty of information about his efforts (with colleagues ranging from bongo-playing Richard Feynman to the free-spirited George Gamow) to unravel the complexities of the RNA molecule from 1953 to '56. But Watson--still in his 20s at the time--also devotes pages to hard drinking, bitter marital breakups, and unwanted pregnancies among his not-so-high-minded peers, and his own anguished affair with a Swarthmore undergrad who left him for a German engineering student. It's not every Nobel Prize-winning biologist who would admit he was thrilled to have his photo in Vogue because it would "make 'with it' American girls more eager to know me," but that boyish openness gives Watson's book its charm. --Wendy Smith

From the Inside Flap:

"The chase for the double-helical structure of DNA was an adventure story in the best sense. First, there was a pot of scientific gold to be found—possibly very soon. Second, among the explorers who raced to find it, there was much bravado, unexpected lapses of reason, and painful acceptances of the fates not going well. The early 1950s were not times to be cautious but rather to run fast whenever a path opened up—nuggets of gold might be lying exposed over the next hill. As one of the winners with a fortune much, much bigger than I ever dared hope for, I could not stop moving. There was more genetic loot to be located, and not joining in the further hunt would make me feel old." —from the preface

Immediately following the revolutionary discovery of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, the world of molecular biology was caught up in a gold rush. The goal: to uncover the secrets of life the newly elucidated molecule promised to reveal. Genes, Girls, and Gamow is James Watson's report on the amazing aftermath of the DNA breakthrough, picking up where his now-classic memoir The Double Helix leaves off.

Here are the collaborations and collisions of giants, not only Watson and Crick themselves, but also legions of others, including Linus Pauling (the greatest chemist of the day), Richard Feynman (the bongo-playing cynosure of Caltech), and especially George Gamow, the bearlike, whiskey-wielding Russian physicist, who had turned his formidable intellect to the field of genetics; with Gamow—an irrepressible prankster to boot—Watson would found the legendary RNA-Tie Club.

But Watson––at twenty-five already the winner of genetic research's greatest jackpot––is obsessed with another goal as well: to find love, and a wife equal to his unexpected fame. As he and an international cast of roguish young colleagues do important research they also compare notes and share complaints on the scarcity of eligible mates. And amid the feverish search for the role of the still mysterious RNA molecule, Watson's thoughts are seldom far from the supreme object of his affections, an enthralling Swarthmore coed named Christa, the daughter of the celebrated Harvard biologist Ernst Mayr.

Part scientific apprenticeship, part sentimental education, Genes, Girls, and Gamow is a penetrating revelation of how great science is accomplished. It is also a charmingly candid account of one young man's full range of ambitions.

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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