RNA, the Epicenter of Genetic Information by John Mattock and Paulo Amaral, from CRC Press/Taylor and Routledge:
Book Description The origin story and emergence of molecular biology is muddled. The early triumphs in bacterial genetics and the complexity of animal and plant genomes complicate an intricate history. This book documents the many advances, as well as the prejudices and founder fallacies. It highlights the premature relegation of RNA to simply an intermediate between gene and protein, the underestimation of the amount of information required to program the development of multicellular organisms, and the dawning realization that RNA is the cornerstone of cell biology, development, brain function and probably evolution itself. Key personalities, their hubris as well as prescient predictions are richly illustrated with quotes, archival material, photographs, diagrams and references to bring the people, ideas and discoveries to life, from the conceptual cradles of molecular biology to the current revolution in the understanding of genetic information.
Documents the confused early history of DNA, RNA and proteins – a transformative history of molecular biology like no other.
Integrates the influences of biochemistry and genetics on the landscape of molecular biology.
Chronicles the important discoveries, preconceptions and misconceptions that retarded or misdirected progress.
Highlights major pioneers and contributors to molecular biology, with a focus on RNA and noncoding DNA.
Dramatically glowing reviews include:
“This book is really disruptive and presents a coherent view of our understanding of biology in terms of the genetic molecules, the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA. It covers an immense territory of molecular biology and its history of discoveries, all presented with a clear-cut intellectual thread.
… It is very timely by its breadth and emphasis on the role of RNA in biology. It makes a strong case for RNA and its late acceptance… the fight uphill, like that of Sisyphus, was tough and demanded a lot of perseverance. It is really rather complete.”
Eric Westhof, University of Strasbourg
Remember the people who used to say, of their DNA, “This is me”? Didn’t wear well, that.