From Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan
‘Beyond superb' Bill Bryson
‘A wonderful book' Ian McEwan
Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can't be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.
Venki Ramakrishnan tells the story of the race to uncover the ribosome's enormously complex structure, a fundamental breakthrough that resolves an ancient mystery of life itself and could lead to the development of better antibiotics. A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.
Venki Ramakrishnan is a structural biologist who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the structure and function of the ribosome. He was knighted in 2012 and elected president of the Royal Society in 2015. He works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.