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When it comes to science, I always feel i have the upper hand on finding a good book, article or tv show because the smartest man I know, my father, happens to be a science teacher. As I looked at the list of books we had the choice of reading I went through each one and thought to myself, I had no idea which one to choose. I went to my dad and said The Double Helix was a very good book that will help you understand the study of biology a lot better. So I decided to pick it. Which is just about as honest as I can get. I wasn’t too sure what I was going to think of it, but as I started to read it I realized why my dad recommended this book. It’s serious at times, but also humorous. Instead of being a boring read it actually makes the reader laugh and have an actual ending to look forward to.
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Basically this book is a story about how James Watson and Francis Crick search for the secrets to the structure of DNA, knowing that the first scientist to actually crack the pattern will be the Nobel Prize winner. The story is told by James Watson which gives readers a actual look into the head of a pure genius. Readers are able to see the humor, genius, intellectual and emotional side of James that gives this story a much more interesting read then it may seem. The story takes place from 1950 to 1953, which is about 60 years ago. When you think about how different the world was back then the level of importance that this book demonstrates is not only important, but rather needed if we ever wanted to live in the world we live today. Reading this book not only taught me a lot but it also made me appreciate what world we live in today. I also makes you truly appreciate the blood, sweat and tears these men put into their work. Without them spending night, after night, after night working until the sun came up to achieve their goal. The determination the have is simply extraordinary.
Once I finished reading this book, I thought to myself about everything that happened and I found it hard to focus on a major thing I learned, because it taught me more than I felt I could actually handle. But as I thought about it more closely I realized the major thing I learned is how complex DNA actually is, and how much work it takes to get to the final equation or results that we want. I realized that to fully understand science you need incredible math, writing and problem solving skills in order to fully understand the problem you are trying to solve. This book not only demonstrated these skills but it actually showed how important they are actually needed to achieve what you want in life. Most people would probably state how they learned, what the author in book actually learned. But I feel the author wanted us to not only understand how he got to his conclusion, but what it took for him to get there. It didn’t happen overnight. IT tooks years of dedication and studies to achieve their goal. I believe Watson wanted people to actually feel how he felt during this study so we could actually appreciate it to the extent that he did.
As a whole I feel this book is about as relevant to biology as sports are to Boston; very important. The main focus in this book was the discovery of DNA. DNA is just about the most important thing when it comes to Biology. It lets scientists learn more about our bodies, how we can cure with them and even evolution. All of these topics are studied my scientist everyday because they are important to the future of the human race. Without the DNA structure none of these things would be studied today. Which is why this book is so important to biology as a whole. Biology is very important in everyday life and without it a lot of the medicine and knowledge we have learned and gained wouldn’t be in the world we live in. This book shows what it actually took to start learning what we know today.
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Once I finished the book I had a good amount of questions, some being. Should Rosy have had a piece of the Nobel? Would Watson have achieved this without competition? If Watson and his partner died during their studies would we not know the structure of DNA today? If Franklin hadn’t died from cancer would the book have been written different? To what extent was specialized technical knowledge necessary for Watson and Crick’s work? If Watson hadn’t been involved could Franklin have achieved this by himself? Without DNA where would we be today? Did Watson take too much of the credit? Did Watson leave anything out of the book that he didn’t want us to know? I felt that most of my question began to question Watson more than anything else. I felt as if he wasn’t giving everyone the right amount of credit that was deserved.
I feel like this book was a worthwhile read in many ways. It was funny, insightful and even uplifting. Readers are actually able to get inside Watson’s head and feel, think and struggle like Watson. Getting a first look at the time when DNA wasn’t created is also very interesting because i shows a world in which all of this technology wasn’t invented yet. I also learned a lot about science and how DNA affects just about everything when it comes to the study of Biology. When it comes to recommending this book to a friend, I would strongly encourage them to give it a chance. Even if the don’t like science, it tells a story of a man’s passion to discover something that he knew would change the world. It’s an uplifting story that makes the reader feel happy for the main character. Mostly because we are able to feel what he felt throughout the book.
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