'One of the most eloquent and genuinely thoughtful books on science over the past decade. You will not find a better, more balanced or up-to-date take on the origin of life or synthetic biology. Essential reading for anyone interested in the coming revolution, which could indeed rival the Industrial Revolution or the internet.' Observer
Recent breakthroughs in the science of life are solving the great mystery of its origin while giving us the power to design its future. Presented here back-to-back, these two gripping narratives reveal the full story of creation. The Origin of Life takes the reader on a gripping, four-billion-year journey of discovery to explain what life is, where it came from and in what form it first appeared. From interplanetary collisions to the inner-workings of cells and genes, it offers answers to the very grandest of questions before arriving at a thrilling solution to the greatest detective story of them all.
The Future of Life introduces a new chapter in human history: living technology. Our mastery of genetics now allows us to create entirely new life-forms within the laboratory - goats that produce spider silk in their milk, bacteria that excrete diesel, cells that identify and destroy tumours - but this revolutionary technology is fraught with controversy, not least the fear of bioterrorism. While introducing us to these remarkable innovations and explaining how they work, Adam Rutherford presents a powerful argument for their benefit to humankind.