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review 2014-12-25 00:00
D.N.A.: Double Helix
D.N.A.: Double Helix - Jaye Valentine
*******Bonus Story*******

This is not included in the anthology [b:Stuff My Stocking: M/M Romance Stories that are Nice and… Naughty|10104297|Stuff My Stocking M/M Romance Stories that are Nice and… Naughty|M.J. O'Shea|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1294028488s/10104297.jpg|15001522]!!!


This was my very first brocest/twincest story and felt therefore kind of odd to me.

I think I have to adjust to this subject a bit more to feel comfortable with it.

Though, when I look past that it was great and I would have liked to read more about them.
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review 2014-12-13 13:21
Life At The Speed Of Light
Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life - J. Craig Venter

As a master student in Biomedical Sciences I'd heard about J. Craig Ventor (and especially his contributions to sequencing the human genome) multiple times in class. So, when I saw this book coming up I was immediately interested.


I somehow had always thought that he would be able to communicate about his science in a very interesting and understandable way. I don't know why I had this believe, but this book disappointed me a bit on that account. I was looking for a book that would be a nice way to introduce people with little or no knowledge about but a huge interest in molecular biology to the subject, but I don't think this book would be right for them. It's at once - I believe - far too specialistic for laymen and too simplistic for the people who do know about it.


It was however, for me, still interesting as synthetic biology is a subject I haven't really learned a lot about. About halfway I did start to get a bit annoyed as it became more and more of an 'Oh, look at me and my team we're so amazing' story as he sums up all his successes and publications in Science. The last chapters were a bit weird as he jumps from synthetic biology to teleportation. Not as good as I anticipated but still enjoyable for people with some background information on (molecular) biology...


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2014-09-11 11:00
TBR Thursday #5
Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science - Daniel P. Todes
Undertow - K.R. Conway
The Secrets of Life and Death - Rebecca Alexander
Seventh Heaven - Alice Hoffman
The Genome: A Novel - Sergei Lukyanenko
The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin,Ken Liu
Children of the Tide: An Inspector Endersby Mystery - Jon Redfern
Space Penguins Galaxy Race - Lucy Courtenay
Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life - J. Craig Venter

Every week I use the TBR Thursday to show everyone my newest books and to confront myself with my inability to lower my TBR.


There are, once again, quite some books that made their way to my shelves. Truth be told, I feel like it's not entirely my own fault this week. All new ARCs, but I finally got approved for some books I requested a long time ago, so they hardly really count for this week. I just tell myself this to make me feel better. Next week is the last week of my vacation, so I hope to get some reading done. I'm a bit behind on my ARCs, but it's already better than last week.


TBR pile currently stands at 175. (+5)

(Netgalley ARCs at 58 (+6))


I thought 'Interesting this biography of Ivan Pavlov, I should get it!' This was all before I found out it's 842 pages long! 842! For a biography!


Undertow I luckily got with a different cover, one that looks less like it's going to be a romance. I still hope that it's going to be a good book.


The Secrets of life and death, Seventh Heaven and Children of the tide all sounded very interesting. I'm looking forward to read them.


I was interesting in The Genome, because I know a lot of people who really enjoyed Night Watch so I was very curious about this author.


The Three Body Problem is Chinese SF, that sounded so interesting I now really want to read it.


Space Penguins Galaxy Race is definitely a children's book but it had my at the tagline of 'In space no one can hear you flap'


Last but not least, Life at the speed of light is written by Craig Ventor, of whom I've heard quite a lot in my lessons on the Human Genome Project wrote this book on genomics and I find that as a biomedical scientist an interesting topic.

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review 2014-01-06 22:06
Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion
Perfection Unleashed (Book 1 of the Double Helix series) - Jade Kerrion

This book is one that could be easily become reality in the not even too distance future and it freaked me out, in a good way though. Even the far fetched plot lines were brought in a way that made them believable.

The characters were all more than well developed and even the general, unimportant, minor ones had traits not uncommon to mankind; i.e. The whole population is a reflection of our current state of mind, and behaviour patterns. Even the mutants are what you expect, and do not stretch the suspension of disbelief. They are all fleshed out fully and alive. I rooted for them, all of them, even the scary ones made me feel sorry for them. It were the humans, bar a few exceptions, that were despicable. 

Plot? Great! I’m not going to give anything away but I will say that the conspiracy lovers will have a ball reading this book.

My one and only gripe is that it’s the first in a series and I loath serialised novels, but on the other hand I’m glad that it doesn’t end with this book because there’s more to this story than just told in part one. I can imagine the whole complex woven tapestry with all its twists and turns couldn’t fit into one book. By the by, it ends in a perfect cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to read book two. Luckily it is available for download and I don’t have to wait any longer than it takes to press ‘buy now’.

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review 2013-11-28 05:40
Review: The Double Helix by James Watson
The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA - James D. Watson

James Watson and Francis Crick made arguably the greatest discovery of the 20th century: proving that DNA is the building block of life and providing a solid structure for it. This short autobiographical account written by Watson provides an in depth - and biased - look into the discovery and also reveals the world of science, where fair play isn't always adhered to. 

I remember my mother talking about Crick and Watson when I was a kid learning about DNA in school and telling me how these two men stole a woman named Rosalind Franklin's idea and research and then got all the credit for it, including a Nobel Prize. Well, my ten year old (or so) self was appalled by this. She did all the work and they got all the credit? The injustice! Reading this was eye-opening for me, because yes, Franklin did not get nearly as much credit as she deserved during the time of there discovery (this was later remedied as best as it could be), but I would not necessarily say that they stole anything from her. Although, I suppose when it comes to her X-Ray of the B Form, that's pretty debatable.

Because this was written by Watson, this is simply his perception of how things went during this time of his life. I think that he didn't aim for objectivity in portraying the people around him, but rather tried to give his opinion and point of view. I do not think his portrait of Maurice Wilkins or Linus Pauling were particularly appealing, but they were his greatest rivals in the world of DNA, so he had to villianize them to make himself the hero. As my professor said, he turned Pauling into Goliath so that he and Crick could become the Davids.

It is extremely readable, but I am not its target audience. I have to admit that had I not read this for class, I may have never picked it up. Although my career is in the science field, it is in the world of computers, not biology and genetics. I greatly appreciate the work that Crick and Watson did, as well as Pauling, Franklin, Bragg, Wilkins, Perutz, Kendrew, etc. but I did not truly understand all of the science in this. On the surface level, it is understandable and I don't think any readers will ever feel lost. That's not what I mean. But on a deeper level, understanding the impact that each scientist had on each other, the impact of each step forward, each failed experiment and each successful experiment: I think someone who has a background in this type of science will really appreciate those aspects.

Overall, I'm quite happy to have read this. It provided a detailed account of one of the most monumental moments of modern history. Recommended.

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