genome engineering

Walter Isaacson, "The Code Breaker"

Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies that explore the birth of the atomic age (Einstein) and the digital age (Jobs), now turns his attention to the biotech revolution, as embodied by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna with his new book, The Code Breaker. The discovery of CRISPR and its transformation from a bacterial system of immunity to a biotech toolkit was not a one-woman show, and I wondered if this famous chronicler of visionaries might take sides in what has become an occasionally less-than-genteel battle for credit, prizes, and patents.  But NO – this book opens up to cover a broad cast of characters, each of them given their due – so that Jennifer Doudna’s story is not a mere lionization but an entry point to a bigger, broader tapestry, the first draft of one of the most important moments in the history of science.