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Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

J. Craig Venter
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Kurzbeschreibung

7. August 2014
In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create 'synthetic life' -- putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, and possibly even our evolution. In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside -- detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question 'What is life?' and examine what we really mean by 'playing God'. Life at the Speed of Light is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 308 Seiten
  • Verlag: Abacus (7. August 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0349139903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349139906
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2,1 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 96.002 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

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Captivating and essential ... fascinating ... a superb and well-articulated book Biochemist One of the most talented and influential scientists at work today Independent on Sunday

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

J. CRAIG VENTER is best known for sequencing the human genome. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to genomic research. He is also the founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics, Inc., as well as the author of A Life Decoded. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the 2008 United States National Medal of Science, and twice been named one Time's 100 most influential people.

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Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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Kundenrezensionen

3.0 von 5 Sternen
3.0 von 5 Sternen
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4.0 von 5 Sternen der Craig Venter wieder... 28. Oktober 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Da preacht er mal wieder, der Papst der Genomik! Alles ist Information! Wir haben künstliches Leben erschaffen! Und gescheitert sind wir nie, das waren alles tolle Ideen -- auch das als Metagenomik getarnte Weltumsegeln! Ja ja, schon gut, glauben wir, glauben wir ja schon. :-)

Von diesen Selbstbeweihräucherungen abgesehen ist das Buch aber sehr lesenswert. Wobei man schon reichlich Ahnung von aktueller Biologie (insbesondere Genomik) haben sollte. Venter setzt sehr viel voraus, erklärt keine Grundlagen, hüpft gleich in medias res.

Ich fand die Genome Wars aber noch spaßiger.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A Brief Summary and Review 26. November 2013
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Ever since the structure of DNA was deciphered by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, the field of biology has advanced at mach speed. In this time, we have learned how DNA codes for the manufacture of proteins of which every living thing is made, and thus acts as the blueprint of life. We have also learned to read this blueprint; to splice it (to transfer genes, and hence features, from one organism to another—and even one species to another); to synthesize it from its component parts; and we have even learned to rewrite DNA to yield wholly new biological products, features and organisms. Thus recent advances have not only allowed us to gain a better understanding of what life is and how it works, but have also allowed us to take control of life and to manipulate it to help advance our ends—and in fields as wide-ranging as food production, medicine, energy, environmental protection etc. And this is just the beginning, for biologists still have much to learn about which genes code for what features, and how to manipulate DNA to achieve the best results—and thus we can be confident that some of the greatest applications to come out of biology are yet to come.

The biologist J.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderland 13. Dezember 2013
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The book is written by likely the most prominent, successful and surely the most visible figure in molecular genetics of our time. High expectations are fully justified. Does he deliver?
Yes and no. Dr. Venter focuses on roughly the last decade of research when his journey as scientist and entrepreneur of science took him to unveil the secrets of life and to create life (of a cell) on his own. What came out of it, is 190 pages long mostly self-acclamatory monolog on molecular genetics a la JCV. The book is filled with numerous interesting and occasionally unduly details of that troublesome journey to recreate functioning genom of a cell (Mycomplasma mycoides). What a feat. Yet, the non-insider reader gets relatively little information about the key steps to this unprecedented success; except that the extreme drive is critical part of the recepy. Perhaps the real genius of JCV has been (and still is) his realization of potentials of IT technology to explore genetics. This apparently extremely powerful and highly successful strategy termed whole genome shotgun sequencing is mentioned on several occasions in the book but nowhere explained. The reader would be interested to know how it is possible for a computer to reassemble DNA chopped up into fragments (oligomers) back into flawless DNA chains beating all the statistical odds on the way; perhaps even more interested than in finding out all about the watermarks imprinted into the recreated M. mycoides genome. Reader would also be interested to find out about the state of the art of that sort of research beyond the boundaries of JCV’s labs. Who are the major competitors? Do alternative approaches, other than linear sequencing exists?
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Digital Life? 17. Dezember 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Are cellular organisms only robot-like computing machines that function strictly according their algorithm-based programming? Or are they rather coordinated complex entities that share non-mechanistic properties that may vary according different context specific needs? Is DNA the unequivocal syntax for sequences out of which one can construct living cells, viruses, phages for a household appliance? Or is the superficial molecular syntax of DNA solely the result of evolution long inserts and deletions of an abundance of various genetic parasites that shape host genomes? The most crucial questions are: do DNA sequences contain a hidden deep grammar structure that vary according to the meaning and context of environmental insults; do DNA sequences match with high fidelity environmental circumstances that led to epigenetic markings and memory? This would mean the identical DNA sequence may have various - even contradictory - meanings. Venter's perspective does not meet any of these questions and therfore remains superficial
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  72 Rezensionen
75 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A VIEW FROM THE TOP 17. Oktober 2013
Von Robert Steven Thomas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Though the author may be a controversial individual to some, he remains one of the top scientific achievers in a world of very controversial areas of new research. This book demonstrates why his knowledge and contributions to the cutting edge sciences of genetics, microbiology and computer science have made him one of the towering forces in these fields. This book's subject is certain to draw critics from all sides considering the unknown territory it may lead humanity toward. I make no personal judgments ... it is for us to each individually, then collectively decide. For those of you who have a deep curiosity of what potentially lies ahead for mankind in the near-term future through the fusion of advanced technologies, this book is an eye-opener. It is short, concise and well written, with snappy prose and not an overabundance of technical terms to bog the reader down. Oddly enough, my only small criticism of the book is the "title" - life at the speed of light ... Through remarkable new discoveries in quantum physics regarding "entangled" particles, Venter should be describing future potentials at "faster-than-the -speed-of-light" or "instantaneous." Instantaneous response and information dispersal over vast distances is no longer science fiction from a Star Trek episode, it is now established science fact. Admittedly some of this is discussed in the book and somewhat further out on the horizon of engineering capability. Get this book. When we stop learning we start dying.
Intelligent Intervention
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Craig, from the heart.. 28. Oktober 2013
Von R. Barton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The fact that Dr. Venter is writing another book is cause for me to drop everything, download and read it same day. And that excitement carried all the way through. This is a profound and incredible book on life and what makes it happen. He lays everything out transparently, all his ideas and reasonings and methods. He's just really smart and hardworking and those two things are at the root of his success, and success far beyond his time is what he has already accomplished. 'Some people see chaos, others see patterns' describes Dr. Venter's own mentality. I was astounded at how comprehensively he sees life, the cell and dna synthesis.

Someone floated a rumor (a chief rival?) in the past about Dr. Venter's ego and hubris and all that. When, where? I've never seen that from him and this book is further a credit to all those he works with. When he creates something he just says 'I did this' and I think he's allowed. Dr. Venter has been, like many in his field, one of the great assets to humankind. This book was conversational, like a fireside chat and I consumed it in a day. I couldn't get too much of his brilliance.

One thing I will note about this book, it closes the door on religion, vitalism and mysticism.
20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Must Read for those interested in computers and biology 28. Oktober 2013
Von Josef - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
The positive:
Lots of up-to-date information on our current understanding of how the code of life, DNA, shapes our destiny. Venter describes is great detail the creation of man-made life in the form of Mycoplasma, "the first living self-replicating species to have a computer as a parent". This was pure science fiction only 20 years ago.
Lots of very-readable historical background information, from Erwin Schroedinger's "What is Life" through many of the key scientific experiments that got us to where we are today.
The (slightly) negative:
Venter's ego sometimes makes him seem somewhat immodest, in my humble opinion.
My recommendation is to read this book in combination with Venter's biography, "A Life Decoded", which in my opinion gives great insight into Craig Venter's thinking. Both of these books are a pleasure to read for anyone curious about the way life works. Science at its best.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen next life 8. Dezember 2013
Von Renato Baserga - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
well narrated by the expert in the field. It is a fascinating story, and actually Venter underplays it as he does not delve into the multiple applications that can be derived from "new" cells. I am sure he is aware of what can be done with new cells, but somehow he does not spell it out, leaving it mostly to the reader's imagination. But Venter has been the first in other things, and it does not surprise me that he wanted to the first in replacing a "useless" nucleus with one made to order. Good luck to him; he deserves it.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A profound preview into our biological future. Read it and think big. 6. November 2013
Von Andrew - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Biology has gone digital. DNA can be read by robots, metabolism can be simulated in software, and now, with genome-scale DNA printing becoming technically and economically feasible, life can now be programmed. This ability to translate between the chemical information bits of DNA to the electronic bits of digital computers and back again creates incredible possibilities - including teleporting life from one location (or world) to another as email attachments. Dr. Venter shares the story of the fundamental work in digital biology that he and his team has done that is easy to read and thoroughly referenced. He describes how this work has already changed the way vaccines are made and how Mars and other planets will be explored. Few books offer such an intimate account of modern genetic science or profound preview into our biological future. Reading this book, it is clear that digital biology can, is, and will continue to change our world as significantly as the digital computer. This is big stuff - unfolding in real time - and likely to earn Venter a Nobel Prize in the near future. Even if DNA isn't your thing, perhaps consider getting a copy for that tech-savvy young man or woman you know that is mulling over what to do with their life.
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