Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox

Want a real life ‘Lessons in Chemistry’? Then this is the book for you!

I’m going to be honest; I completely judged this book by its cover. A Rosalind Franklin biography written in 2002 with a classy sepia photograph on the cover did not seem like an exciting read to me. I began reading expecting a dry but informative account of Franklin’s scientific career that would do me good but would probably feel like a bit of a chore. Well, the famous idiom was right yet again, because from the first chapter of this book I was hooked. What this book actually is, is an incredibly moving and motivating account of an exceptional scientist’s battle to do her ground-breaking research in the face of sexism, antisemitism and the aftermath of WWII.

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Science Book Spotlight

‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ by Rachel Skloot

If you’ve studied biosciences, chances are you’ve heard of HeLa cells. They were the first human cells to be successfully cultured in vitro and the Hela cell line has been instrumental in countless ground-breaking discoveries from the development of the polio vaccine to genome mapping. The benefits of an immortal human cell line to science are huge, but what are the costs?

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