The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

Summary

  1. Isaacson gives us the history and narrative behind CRISPR and RNA breakthroughs

Key Takeaways

  1. Douda led by listening, connected with people emotionally. She looked for people who were self-directed, yet collegial
    1. “I’ve looked for opportunities where I can fill a niche where there aren’t too many other people with the same skill sets.”
  2. Nature is beautiful – The double helix solution was too beautiful not to be true
  3. Ask BIG questions!
  4. Competition + Collegiality marks the ethos of science
  5. CRISPR targets and cuts DNA to fix genetic issues
  6. The greats have an urgency to get to the future and help create it
  7. Best way to get someone to trust you is for you to trust them first
  8. Absolute vs. Positional improvements – better off even if all get some (improved memory) vs the “tip toe” problem (make people taller)
  9. Ingenuity without wisdom is dangerous
  10. Jobs – the best product is creating a team that can continually make innovative products

What I got out of it

  1. A thrilling story about the race to CRISPR and how it has already deeply impacted our world and