Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

In the Beginning Was the Worm: Finding the Secrets of Life in a Tiny Hermaphrodite [Paperback]

Andrew Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback --  
Paperback, 2 Feb 2004 --  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

2 Feb 2004
This book is an account of the first great triumph of genomics: the thirty-year struggle to decode the complete DNA of a nematode worm. Success in this was what made the human genome project possible. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORM is an exciting but scrupulous account of a genuine scientific triumph, which will delight both those who know the subject and those who don't. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORM tells of some remarkable characters who have changed our approach to science irrevocably, among them Sydney Brenner, a heroic dreamer who first thought of understanding an animal as a sort of biological Meccano; John Sulston, his first post-doctoral student, who managed to raise GBP30 million; his friend, Bob Horvitz, who has, to all intents and purposes, spent more than thirty years studying the 22 cells of a worm's vulva; and Fred Sanger, the only man to have won two Nobel Prizes in the same discipline. Decades of painstaking research triumphed in 1998, when this worm was the first creature to have all its DNA mapped -- but now what? We still don't know how to build a single worm. In this intriguing story of dreams and disillusionment, Andrew Brown contemplates the next fifty years of biological science, and the way that ignorance expands to surround all available knowledge.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (2 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743415981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743415989
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,336,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Brown is a freelance journalist who writes extensively for the SUNDAY TIMES, the INDEPENDENT and the DAILY MAIL. In 1995 he won the Templeton Prize as the best religious affairs correspondent in Europe. As well as THE DARWIN WARS he is the author of a highly acclaimed book on the London police called WATCHING THE DETECTIVES.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little critters with big secrets 22 Sep 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
The revelations about life promised when the structure of DNA was deduced weren't immediately obvious. In fact, the more investigations proceeded, it was obvious it became that intense study and analysis would be needed. The inheritance of traits, both physical and behavioural, is a difficult mesh to unravel. Research on single-celled organisms, like E. coli, offered only part of the answers. Even the long years of work with fruit flies only hinted at how genes made bodies and habits. An intermediate creature was needed in order to map out how the DNA did its job. That creature was the humble nematode, about as long as your fingernail is thick. In this highly informative book, Andrew Brown traces the years of study undertaken by scientists and technicians to cut away some of the unknowns to derive answers.

"Cut away" is suggestive. The earliest work required understanding how the worm was assembled by its genes. That effort entailed slicing the worm in bits to map all the interconnections. For a creature made of less than a thousand cells, its body proved anything but simple. One researcher spent three decades studying the vulva of this hermaphrodite. Another, a technician, learned the finesse required to section the nerves in order that the pathways the wires followed could be tracked. No end of complexity was revealed and some of it remains mysterious today. Brown credits childhood habits that contributed to the talents these researchers applied to worm analysis. The "nerve-cutter" did jigsaw puzzles, while another was one of those kids constantly taking things apart - and reassembling them - when he was young.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category