Once upon a time I had a dream that ended with a clear voice telling me that “Everything is connected”
Now that is a very good attitude to life by, I know. And because of the human genome project we have proof that we all descend from one being 3.5 biljon years ago. The genome, 4 letters : A, C, T and G, the initials of 4 chemicals. Three of them compose amino acids, the building blocks of many living things. This thread of genetic similarity connects us and the roughly 10 million other species in the modern world to the entire history of life, back to a single common ancestor more than 3.5 billion years ago
In April 2003 the Human Genome Project was declared complete. It started in 1990. Victor McElheny wrote a compelling book about it, easy to read even if you do not have a very scientific background. This book tells you about the people behind this project: David Botstein and his method constructing genetic linkage maps that enabled the sequencing phaseof the Human Genome project, about Francis Collins, leader of the project and a very spiritual man and writer of the bestseller “The language of God: A scientist Presents Evidence for belief“.
It tells about Craig Venter, the first person ever to sequence the human genome, but was too stubborn to maintain in the project. A method he proposed was rejected and he went to a private investor. Juicy stuff, this book, and very informative about this important scientific work. A must read if you want to know all about how science can make the world a healthier place.