The Geneticist Who Played Hoops With My DNA: Genius and the Quest to Rewrite Life

David Ewing Duncan

Combining myth, biography, and wit, this is a highly original depiction of cutting-edge science and its profound implications told through the scientists who are rewriting life on earth.

Throughout history, the outsized personalities of scientists have astonished us with their brilliance and audacity. From Galileo to Jonas Salk, they push society to great leaps of imagination and originality, providing us with everything from the wheel to rocket ships and penicillin. Today’s masterminds in biotechnology promise life-spans up to 400 years, cures for cancer and an end to pollution. But they are also capably of producing Frankenstein-like nightmare creations that unintentionally run amok, as well as bioweapons and social upheavals.

Award-winning writer David Ewing-Duncan has written a startling narrative about science and personality, delving into stem cells, cloning, bioengineering, and genetics by telling the stories of the characters at the fulcrum of the science. He uses a unique method of tying in age-old stories and myths – from Prometheus and Eve to Faustus and Frankenstein – to ask the question: can we trust these scientists?

Reviews of The Geneticist Who Played Hoops With My DNA: Genius and the Quest to Rewrite Life

    • ‘Duncan writes the way good teachers teach, conversational, yet informed … [He] is a populizer and a storyteller.’ USA Today
    • ‘Rather than speculating about the future in a more conventional way, David Ewing-Duncan, in his charming and often amusing book, uses instead the personalities and thoughts of a coterie of exceptional geneticists.’ Adrian Woolfson, Observer
    • ‘An interesting book … clear and helpful.’ Brenda Maddox, The Times
    • ‘Duncan turns a scarily bright light on the exploding frontiers of biotechnology.’ Vanity Fair
    • ‘Vivid, memorable portrayals of the scientists working on biology’s most fascinating frontiers.’ Atlantic Monthly
    • ‘Duncan turns his discerning eye toward the role of personality in science … remarkable profiles … Duncan’s prose is lively and engaging.’ San Francisco Chronicle