10 books like She Has Her Mother's Laugh

By Carl Zimmer,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like She Has Her Mother's Laugh. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Code Breaker

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

Few biographies represent subjects who are still alive. And most often the subject is the main character. However, in Code Breaker, the main character is not limited to Jennifer Doudna. The structural biologist from the University of California, Berkeley. It is also about a team of people all contributing to the discovery of CRISPR. Modern science takes a team and this is true here as well. Isaacson wrote this marvel during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the new science was used to battle this worldwide threat.

The book also highlights how science is built on a foundation of others’ discoveries, melding multiple areas of study, building on their ideas, but defining a new path to take. 

CRISPR took a village. This revolutionary gene-splicing technique could usher in a new era of gene therapy and be a tool for medicine to ‘fix’ gene mutations and cure disease. With every great discovery…

The Code Breaker

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Code Breaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns.

In 2012, Nobel Prize winning scientist Jennifer Doudna hit upon an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.

Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. It has already been deployed to cure deadly diseases, fight the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and make inheritable changes in the genes of babies.

But what does that mean for humanity? Should we be hacking our own DNA to make us less susceptible to disease? Should…


I Contain Multitudes

By Ed Yong,

Book cover of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

With both humor and scientific precision, Ed Yong takes us through the microscope lens into the world of microbes and microbiology that share our world and, in some cases, our bodies. Yong's book connects those worlds to show our interdependence. His book provides ample evidence that while disease-causing microbes grab most of the headlines, many others in the microbiome are essential allies for a healthy life and are critical to advancements in biotechnology.

I Contain Multitudes

By Ed Yong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Contain Multitudes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE

Your body is teeming with tens of trillions of microbes. It's an entire world, a colony full of life.

In other words, you contain multitudes.

They sculpt our organs, protect us from diseases, guide our behaviour, and bombard us with their genes. They also hold the key to understanding all life on earth.

In I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong opens our eyes and invites us to marvel at ourselves and other animals in a new light, less as individuals and more as thriving ecosystems.

You'll never think…


Genentech

By Sally Smith Hughes,

Book cover of Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech

Sally Smith Hughes' highly readable tale of the genesis of Genentech provides a no-holds-barred look into the gritty details of how biotech firms are born. Hughes reveals how scientists, lawyers, and venture capitalists work together and collide in a crucible of competing disciplines and desires to produce transformative advances. For those interesting in biotech entrepreneurship or simply investing in biotech, this book offers key foundational insights into the industry.

Genentech

By Sally Smith Hughes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Genentech as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the fall of 1980, Genentech, Inc., a little-known California genetic engineering company, became the overnight darling of Wall Street, raising over $38 million in its initial public stock offering. Lacking marketed products or substantial profit, the firm nonetheless saw its share price escalate from $35 to $89 in the first few minutes of trading, at that point the largest gain in stock market history. Coming at a time of economic recession and declining technological competitiveness in the United States, the event provoked banner headlines and ignited a period of speculative frenzy over biotechnology as a revolutionary means for creating…


How to Make a Vaccine

By John Rhodes,

Book cover of How to Make a Vaccine: An Essential Guide for Covid-19 and Beyond

John Rhodes, author of The End of Plagues: The Global Battle Against Infectious Disease now offers us a timely, concise, and easy-to-digest book that spans the history of vaccines, including the recent development of mRNA vaccines now on the frontlines of efforts to quell the COVID-19 global pandemic. Rhodes' experience and expertise in immunology and vaccine development show in his clear and easy-to-understand explanations of how vaccines work and why they are an essential public health tool.

How to Make a Vaccine

By John Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Make a Vaccine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of the world, changing our relationship to our communities, to our jobs, and to each other, the most pressing question has been-when will it end? Researchers around the globe are urgently trying to answer this question by racing to test and distribute a vaccine that could end the greatest public health threat of our time. In How to Make a Vaccine, an expert who has firsthand experience developing vaccines tells an optimistic story of how three hundred years of vaccine discovery and a century and a half of immunology research have come…


The Gene

By Siddhartha Mukherjee,

Book cover of The Gene: An Intimate History

Genetic science is so new and so specialized that it almost has its own language, and yet it is changing the way we understand life and death, and bringing a new kind of medicine that will radically alter health and medicine in future generations. Mukherjee is the best of science writers, deploying beautiful metaphors to help readers grasp this complex subject.

The Gene

By Siddhartha Mukherjee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected as a Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Economist, Independent, Observer and Mail on Sunday

THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

`Dramatic and precise... [A] thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time... He is a natural storyteller... A page-turner... Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next'
Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our…


A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology

By Jim Endersby,

Book cover of A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology

A topsy-turvy look at biology from the point of view of the animals (and plants) that make it possible. Richly detailed and full of engrossing characters, from Darwin’s time up to the genetically engineered marvels of today.

A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology

By Jim Endersby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved," Darwin famously concluded The Origin of Species, and for confirmation we look to...the guinea pig? How this curious creature and others as humble (and as fast-breeding) have helped unlock the mystery of inheritance is the unlikely story Jim Endersby tells in this book.

Biology today promises everything from better foods or cures for common diseases to the alarming prospect of redesigning life itself. Looking at the organisms that have made all this possible gives us a new way of understanding how we got here--and perhaps of thinking…


Seeing Voices

By Oliver Sacks,

Book cover of Seeing Voices

Here we have another of Oliver Sacks' brilliant books, the subject this time being the deaf. My brother’s wife is profoundly deaf as is her brother (heredity disease). He had a cochlear implant but she refused one and knowing my brother I can’t blame her. To me the most fascinating part of the book is the development of sign language and how different forms appeared in different countries. The creation of deaf schools, like the one started by Alexander Graham Bell, whose parents were both profoundly deaf, caused controversy because he didn’t believe in sign language and tried to force his pupils to use only speech in communication. As they had no feedback for sound, this was unbelievably stupid in my opinion as you can only change what you sense and can make sense of. Those who sign can ‘speak’ rapidly and clearly by ‘visual’ means, whereas those who try…

Seeing Voices

By Oliver Sacks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seeing Voices as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Oliver Sacks has been described (by "The New York Times Book Review") as "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century," and his books, including the medical classics Migraine and Awakenings, have been widely praised by critics from W. H. Auden to Harold Pinter to Doris Lessing. In his last book, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat", Dr. Sacks undertook a fascinating journey into the world of the neurologically impaired, an exploration that Noel Perrin in the "Chicago Sun-Times" called "wise, compassionate, and very literate...the kind that restore(s) one's faith in humanity."Now, with "Seeing Voices",…


The Century of the Gene

By Evelyn Fox Keller,

Book cover of The Century of the Gene

Genes have variously been described as selfish and controlling—as providing a blueprint or a program for development—as even “the cell’s brain”. These descriptions of genes get in the way of our understanding of what genes actually do—and what they don’t (and cannot) do. Evelyn Fox Keller provides an antidote to the simplistic notions of genes that permeate our society and infect our scientific discourse. She carefully walks us through the history of the field and provides us with a much more realistic view of the intricacies of DNA. By the end of this marvelous book, you may not even think that genes are a thing at all.

The Century of the Gene

By Evelyn Fox Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Century of the Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a book that promises to change the way we think and talk about genes and genetic determinism, Evelyn Fox Keller, one of our most gifted historians and philosophers of science, provides a powerful, profound analysis of the achievements of genetics and molecular biology in the twentieth century, the century of the gene. Not just a chronicle of biology's progress from gene to genome in one hundred years, The Century of the Gene also calls our attention to the surprising ways these advances challenge the familiar picture of the gene most of us still entertain. Keller shows us that the…


The Rosie Project

By Graeme Simsion,

Book cover of The Rosie Project

This novel has stayed with me because it is a unique story from the perspective of a character with Asperger's. I fell in love with the main character's personality and how he takes on every situation he finds himself in. Seeing and understanding that he is in love was no different. I couldn’t help but root for this character as he unravels what love is. There are three books in this series. They are all amazing if you are looking for something new and different.

The Rosie Project

By Graeme Simsion,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Rosie Project as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The international bestselling romantic comedy “bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and…humor,” (Entertainment Weekly) featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love.

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her…


The Genetic Lottery

By Kathryn Paige Harden,

Book cover of The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

This begins as an exceptional introduction to genetics and the very latest technological and statistical methods. What sets this book apart, however, is the understanding of what genetics and inheritance mean, which took my breath away. 

For more than a century, the crusty old nature-nurture false dichotomy has dominated human understanding of inheritance and - especially - the genetics of behavior. Despite many valiant attempts, genetics has seldom managed to escape the legacy of eugenics and the towering figures of Galton, Pearson and Fisher. Harden provides a refreshing, coherent, powerful case that liberates genetic knowledge from eugenics, and places a modern understanding of genetics and what she calls ‘genetic luck’ at the centre of any program to improve society and achieve equality.

Both geneticists and those who think that only environmental (nurture-based) or technological solutions can improve societies have a lot to learn from this book. Hopefully, it will finally…

The Genetic Lottery

By Kathryn Paige Harden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Genetic Lottery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A provocative and timely case for how the science of genetics can help create a more just and equal society

In recent years, scientists like Kathryn Paige Harden have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health-and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society.

In The Genetic Lottery, Harden introduces readers to the latest genetic science, dismantling dangerous ideas about racial superiority and challenging us to grapple with what equality really means in a world where people are born different. Weaving together personal stories with scientific evidence, Harden shows…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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