Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life

Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life

Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life

Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life

Synopsis

Written for both professionals and curious lay readers, "Unraveling DNA" is the definitive guide to understanding DNA: its history, how it works, as well as the latest findings, including recent advances in cancer and AIDS cures.

Excerpt

Of all the phenomena around us, the most puzzling is life itself. We have become accustomed to its unfailing ubiquity and seem to have lost the ability to marvel. But go to a forest and look at the trees, the flowers, the grass, the birds, and ants as if you are seeing them for the first time, and you will feel awe in the presence of life's great mystery. Is there really some common element that unites all living things, whether man or microbe? What is it that predetermines life's continuity and eternal renewal from generation to generation? Only those of us living in the late twentieth century have been lucky enough to find out the answers to these age-old questions. Actually, the answers turned out to be fairly uncomplicated, and truly fascinating. Their essence and derivations are the subject of this book.

Central to the new science of molecular biology -- which is called upon to answer the eternal question of "What is life?" -- is the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule. It is also the protagonist of this narrative. We discuss DNA from different viewpoints, placing a special emphasis on the physical and mathematical aspects, which makes this book different from many others written on DNA and molecular biology.

This book has a history of its own. It first appeared almost fifteen years ago in Russian, under the title The Most Important Molecule, as part of the Quantum Library science-popular series published by Nauka. The book was enthusiastically hailed by both the general public and the scientific community in the (now former) Soviet Union. Over 150,000 copies of the Russian- language edition sold out in a short time. The book turned out to be especially popular with high school and college students interested in modern biology, physics, and chemistry. The second Russian edition, substantially . . .

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