Vital Forces tells the history of the 'biochemical revolution', a period of unprecedentedly rapid advance in human knowledge that profoundly affected our view of life and laid the foundation for modern medicine and biotechnology. The story is told in a clear, engaging, and absorbing manner. This delightful work relates the fascinating and staggering advances in concepts and theories over the last 200 years and introduces the major figures of the times.
Vital Forces also describes the discovery of the molecular basis of life through the stories of the scientists involved, including such towering figures as Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, Linus Pauling, and Francis Crick. Combining science and biography into a seamless chronological narrative, the author brings to life the successes and failures, collaborations and feuds, and errors and insights that produced the revolution in biology.
* Vividly describes dramatic scientific discoveries, personalities, feuds and rivalries
* Answers a general readers quest to understand the nature of life, and the relevance of biochemistry/molecular biology to modern medicine, industry and agriculture
"The casual reader might belive that a history of science book is likely to be very dull reading. This is not the case here... The flow of ideas take center stage and for those with any interest in science, the author displays with elegance and skill the development of many of the key ideas that currently dominate biological research. This should be required reading for students in this area and can surely be of value to even the most experienced invesetigator. Well documented with many personal vignettes, this is an engaging and intelligent book. The author is to be commended for capturing the sense of intellectual development as well as the excitement of discovery. Anyone interested in modern biology would be interested in this book." - Choice 2001