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Life's Greatest Secret


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This thrilling account shows how discovering DNA has fundamentally influenced the way we think of life and affected every aspect of our lives.

About the Author

Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester where his research focuses on the sense of smell, insect behaviour and the history of science. His books include The Egg & Sperm Race and acclaimed accounts of the French Resistance during the Second World War and the liberation of Paris in 1944.


It is to Cobb's considerably credit that he manages to provide such an authoritative but nevertheless thrilling narrative, while also establishing, on a more serious level, how the genetic code has made its impact on everyday life 50 years since its discovery. In short, this is a first-class read. -- Robin McKie * The Observer *
A fascinating reminder of just how hard-won are the seemingly obvious facts of modern biology... the cracking of the code of life is a great story, of which this is an accomplished telling. * The Economist *
Compelling, authoritative and insightful -- Brian Cox
Life's Greatest Secret is the logical sequel to Jim Watson's The Double Helix -- Jerry Coyne
Gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves. * Kirkus Reviews *
Rich, thrilling and thorough, this is the definitive history of arguably the greatest of all scientific revolutions. -- Adam Rutherford
Writing with flair, charisma and authority, this is Cobb's magnum opus. But more important than that, this is humankind's magnum opus, the story of a great human endeavour - a global adventure spanning decades - which unravelled how life really works. ... No area of science is more fundamental or more important:read about it and be filled with wonder. -- Daniel M. Davis
Cobb reveals the astonishing drama of the moment genetics and information technology collided, shaping the modern world and modern thought. -- Paul Mason
A delight ... The world of all the scientists involved comes alive, especially in the account of one of Crick's parties when, in the thick of things, the British and French biologists realised they had probably discovered the same thing from different angles. * Guardian *
A masterwork ... should be required reading for all graduate students in the disciplines of genetics and molecular biology and, most certainly, students of the history of science. * Cell Magazine *
Bloody brilliant. * Brian Cox *

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