Amazon Best Book – March 2021: The Code Breaker

Best bookAn Amazon Best Book of March 2021: Isaacson is famous for writing Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci, so a title like The Code Breaker might imply a lesser book about a lesser character. But 2020 Nobel winner Jennifer Doudna, who developed the gene editing technology CRISPR, is a giant in her own right. CRISPR could open some of the greatest opportunities, and most troubling quandaries, of this century—and this book delivers. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

“This year’s prize is about rewriting the code of life. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch.” – Announcement of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

“Isaacson’s vivid account is a page-turning detective story and an indelible portrait of a revolutionary thinker who, as an adolescent in Hawai’i, was told that girls don’t do science. Nevertheless, she persisted.” — O Magazine

“Isaacson captures the scientific process well, including the role of chance. The hard graft at the bench, the flashes of inspiration, the importance of conferences as cauldrons of creativity, the rivalry, sometimes friendly, sometimes less so, and the sense of common purpose are all conveyed in his narrative. The Code Breaker describes a dance to the music of time with these things as its steps, which began with Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel and shows no sign of ending.” – The Economist

Shortlink to book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38m9TSR

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CHAT

The social media giants of the early decades in the 21st century have died and been replaced by ‘CHAT’, a new artificial intelligence network built on a powerful quantum computer, affectionately called the ‘Engine’.

Avoiding the failings of its predecessors and free from the misuse of data, CHAT has become ubiquitous. A key feature, powered by the Engine, is the network’s ability to translate any language to the language of the user, in real time; meaning that everyone around the world can speak to each other as if they are all speaking the same language.
CHAT’s artificial intelligence was developed at a remote campus of Cambridge University in Warwick, England.

The academics at Warwick, led by Professor Nick Caine, continue to search for new languages, both human and non-human, to extend the capabilities of the Engine. CHAT’s public relations executive, Tiffany Hope, spreads the word on all the latest news from Warwick to the entire global network of CHAT users.Under the management of Professor Caine and his team at Warwick, the Engine polls the internet for signals to translate around the entire planet and even beyond, by connecting to a wide range of equipment ranging from wildlife monitors to space stations. But one such ‘signal’ that initially eludes the translation abilities of the Engine gets the attention of one of the university department’s sponsors, the US military intelligence agency. As the mysterious signal, code-named, Alpha285, gradually reveals more about its origins, Nick is subjected to increasing pressure from his sponsors to allow the agency to take control.

Set in a future where the legacy of past generations’ environmental abuse has come home to roost, and human ingenuity has created innovative solutions that attempt to arrest the damage, the pursuit of knowledge about Alpha285 becomes fraught with danger and intrigue.

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