The origin story and emergence of molecular biology is muddled. The early triumphs in bacterial genetics and the complexity of animal and plant genomes complicate an intricate history. This book documents the many advances, as well as the prejudices and founder fallacies. It highlights the premature relegation of RNA to simply an intermediate between gene and protein, the underestimation of the amount of information required to program the development of multicellular organisms, and the dawning realization that RNA is the cornerstone of cell biology, development, brain function and probably evolution itself. Key personalities, their hubris as well as prescient predictions are richly illustrated with quotes, archival material, photographs, diagrams and references to bring the people, ideas and discoveries to life, from the conceptual cradles of molecular biology to the current revolution in the understanding of genetic information.
- Documents the confused early history of DNA, RNA and proteins - a transformative history of molecular biology like no other.
- Integrates the influences of biochemistry and genetics on the landscape of molecular biology.
- Chronicles the important discoveries, preconceptions and misconceptions that retarded or misdirected progress.
- Highlights major pioneers and contributors to molecular biology, with a focus on RNA and noncoding DNA.
- Summarizes the mounting evidence for the central roles of non-protein-coding RNA in cell and developmental biology.
- Provides a thought-provoking retrospective and forward-looking perspective for advanced students and professional researchers.
The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.