Decoding Our DNA
Craig Venter vs the Human Genome Project
From the Series Scientific Rivalries and Scandals
In the mid-1980s, some geneticists proposed a daring project to sequence the human genome. That meant figuring out the exact order of the three billion chemical pairs that make up human DNA. Sequencing the human genome could help scientists understand how our bodies work and help doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent certain diseases.
The Human Genome Project launched in 1990, with scientists around the world collaborating on the research. They worked slowly and methodically, trying to produce the most accurate information possible. By 1991 one of these scientists, Craig Venter, became fed up with the HGP’s slow pace. He challenged the HGP to move faster and started his own company to compete with the HGP.
Racing neck and neck, the two organizations reached their goal years ahead of schedule. But the challenge also led to a bitter public argument, especially over who could use the sequence and how. This book reveals how ambition, persistence, ego, greed, and principle combined—often with explosive results—in the quest to decode our DNA.
|Interest Level||Grade 6 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 8|
|Genre||Nonfiction, Young Adult|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Twenty-First Century Books ™|
|Reading Counts! Level||9.6|
|BISACS||YAN050010, YAN050000, YAN050110|
|ATOS Reading Level||8.5|
|Accelerated Reader® Quiz||156057|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||2.0|
|Features||Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, Websites, and eSource|
Library Media Connection
“The books are short and full of illustrations; they explore topics students find interesting and provide facts and details enough to give readers a solid beginning.” —Library Media Connection
“Ballen clearly lays out both sides of the issues as well as the story’s eventual resolution.” —Booklist
School Library Journal, Series Made Simple
“These books showcase major scientific developments and the brutal competition behind the scenes. They are highly engaging accounts of researchers resorting to cheap shots, spying, and double crossing to take credit for pivotal discoveries. But they are also disturbing documentation of how ego can trump the greater good… Written cleanly and fluidly, these titles let the drama and occasional absurdity of the players’ actions speak for themselves.” —School Library Journal, Series Made Simple
Author: Karen Gunnison Ballen
Karen Ballen has a bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota. She taught biology at a small college in Minnesota before turning to children's writing. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and children. She is the author of Seven Wonders of Medicine.
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Scientific Rivalries and Scandals
Bribery. Theft. Betrayals and lifelong feuds. Intense competition leading to bitter disputes has characterized the relationships among some of the world’s greatest scientific innovators. This one-of-a-kind series combines math, science, history, and biography to expose the rivalries… View available downloads →