The Gene: An Intimate History

The GeneA book of both history and science, this couldn’t have a better title – it’s quite simply the comprehensive story of the discovery, disentanglement and manipulation of the gene.

From the first pea-breeding experiments of Gregor Mendel to the potential for gene editing (by way of Charles Darwin, the Nazis and many others), The Gene is by the Indian-American oncologist famous for the 2010 book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

Mukherjee writes beautiful prose that has an edge of florid beauty and an unexpected sense of humour: when describing Mendel’s attempt to extend his experiments to mice, Mukherjee writes that the abbot of his monastery refused but that he “didn’t mind giving peas a chance”.

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