Jennifer Doudna, the world-famous scientist behind CRISPR, ‘one of the most monumental discoveries in biology’ (New York Times), explains its discovery, describes its power to reshape the future of all life and warns of its use.
'Urgent, riveting and endlessly fascinating, this book is destined to become an instant classic. Read it if you want to understand our biological future' Siddhartha Mukherjee
'In this wonderful book … Doudna’s and Sternberg’s simple but compelling exploration of this hugely important subject offers and excellent overview of this startling and unprecedented discovery' Literary Review
A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all.
It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends.
Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers?
The future of humankind – and of all life on Earth – is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
'A scientific thriller and a gripping read by a brilliant scientist' Venki Ramakrishnan
"The most important advance of our era. One of the pioneers of the field describes the exciting hunt for the key breakthrough and what it portends for our future"
"Too important … What may happen thanks to Doudna’s [discovery] is dizzying … for her, this is the future of medicine. If she’s right, then Crispr is about to make our present healthcare concerns look surprisingly trivial"
"One of the architects of this miraculous biological technique … explains the science clearly and excitingly as a kind of globalist detective story"
"Probably the greatest biological breakthrough since that of Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin… We owe Doudna several times over – for her discovery, for her zeal to take it from the lab into the clinic, for her involvement in the ethical issues raised, for her public engagement work, and now for this book"
"An urgent plea from the celebrated biologist whose discovery enabled us to rewrite the code of life. The future is in our hands as never before, and this book explains the stakes like no other"