Gene Machine

Pages: 304
Subject: Popular Science
Imprint: Oneworld

Gene Machine

The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome

Venki Ramakrishnan

The Double Helix for our age: the thrilling story of how scientists unlocked the secrets of our gene-reading machine, opening a new window onto how life works
9781786074362 (20 Sep 2018)
RRP £20.00

The Book

Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, determining who we are and what we pass on to our children. The ribosome, on the other hand, doesn't enjoy such wide understanding. Yet without it nothing lives. It is the mother of all molecules. For if DNA is data then it can't go anywhere, or do anything, without a machine to process it. The ribosome is that machine.

Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan tells the story of the race to uncover the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that resolves an ancient mystery of life itself and could lead to the development of better antibiotics to fight the most deadly diseases. A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.

Additional Information

Subject Popular Science
Pages 304
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Venki Ramakrishnan is an Indian-born American and British structural biologist. He shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the structure and function of the ribosome, and was knighted in 2012. In 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society. He works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.


‘[Venki's] scientific achievements have been remarkable.'

- Jim Al-Khalili, The Life Scientific