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Download A Life Decoded: My Genome---My Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Life Decoded: My Genome---My Life Audiobook, by J. Craig Venter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (259 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. Craig Venter Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9781400175710
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Growing up in California, J. Craig Venter didn't appear to have much of a future. An unremarkable student, he nearly flunked out of high school. After being drafted into the army, he enlisted in the navy and went to Vietnam, where the life-and-death struggles he encountered as a medic piqued his interest in science and medicine. After pursuing his advanced degrees, Venter quickly established himself as a brilliant and outspoken scientist. In 1984, he joined the National Institutes of Health, where he introduced novel techniques for rapid gene discovery, and left in 1991 to form his own nonprofit genomics research center, where he sequenced the first genome in history in 1995. In 1998, he announced that he would successfully sequence the human genome years earlier and for far less money than the government-sponsored Human Genome Project would-a prediction that came to pass in 2001. A Life Decoded is the triumphant story of one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in science today. In this riveting and inspiring account, Venter tells of the unparalleled drama of the quest for the human genome, a tale that involves as much politics as science. He also reveals how he went on to be the first to read and interpret his own genome and what it will mean for all of us to do the same. He describes his recent sailing expedition to sequence microbial life in the ocean, as well as his groundbreaking attempt to create synthetic life. Here is one of the key scientific chronicles of our lifetime, as told by the man who beat the odds to make it happen. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Well worth reading for the fascinating perspective it offers on one of the major scientific discoveries of all time. Publishers Weekly
  • A Life Decoded offers a window into the life and mind of a scientist who…has indisputably become an extraordinary figure.”

    Science

  • “[The] media has called Venter many things: maverick, publicity hound, risk-taker, brash, controversial, genius, manic, rebellious, visionary, audacious, arrogant, feisty, determined, provocative. His autobiography shows that they are all justified.”

    Nature

  • “[Venter is] not just trying to understand how life works; he’s trying to make it work for him, and for us.”

    Atlantic

  • “This is well worth reading for the fascinating perspective it offers on one of the major scientific discoveries of all time.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 2/15/2014

    " I got to page 97 and found the science way over my head. I am sure it is wonderful for anyone who understands all the scientific terms! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Roebuck | 1/22/2014

    " After reading this fascinating autobiography of a ruthless perspicacious scientist made me want to have my own genome sequenced to discover my genetic destiny. The most interesting chapters detail the behind the scenes intrigue and political maneuverings encompassing the competing interests of the bureaucratic government and the hubristic private sector for the high stakes glory of big science. Although technical in parts overall it was a facile and enjoyable read particularly with my scientific background. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 1/16/2014

    " changed my mind about j craig venter... and the science of the human genome project. a must-read for any wannabe geneticist! warning: he's an egomaniac (which would have been really annoying, but he's really pretty cool, so it's forgiven). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 1/13/2014

    " The information in the book was very interesting for a science nerd like me. However, Dr. Venter's self-importance and pompousness far outweigh the story, making the book less than enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 12/7/2013

    " I skimmed this book which was easy to do. Cool passages were highlighted so I could read interesting bits involving more detail and information about parts of the genome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Larson | 11/25/2013

    " Didnt' get to the end, but very interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck | 11/24/2013

    " A great account of an uncommon life and what we do and don't know about the the genetics that influenced it. It is again amazing how much more could be accomplished if Politics and politics don't get in the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucy Briggs | 5/7/2013

    " The first part of the book, about his early life, was fascinating. Think the rest of the book was interesting because of my biology background, but not sure how much it would appeal to others. I was surprised by all of the drama/politics/ego that's involved in science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Gorman | 3/18/2013

    " Top notch...well worth the read. Fantastic personal drive if sometimes a little misdirected. Great insight into research career and entrepreneurship. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Olga Mosh | 3/9/2013

    " It was pretty good for a while, and then got too boring after the first half. I had to put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Gillette | 1/16/2013

    " This is an auto-biography of Craig Venter, the man who raced the NIH in the discovery of the entire human genome and won. The narrative covers Craig's personal life, how he got to where he is, and some inspirational anecdotes that inspire one to think big...and admire the coolness of science! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 2/4/2012

    " I'm currently reading Craig Venter's auobiography. A great line from the introduction, "DNA provides the music. Our cells and the environment provide the orchestra." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stan Law | 1/25/2012

    " It is very inspiring and interesting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack Nieporte | 12/21/2011

    " Excellent book on his life and the discovery of the first human genome (his) that was published to the world. He won the Nobel Prize under Clinton "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 4/15/2011

    " I got to page 97 and found the science way over my head. I am sure it is wonderful for anyone who understands all the scientific terms! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Olga | 1/1/2011

    " It was pretty good for a while, and then got too boring after the first half. I had to put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stan | 11/12/2010

    " This is by far one of the best books I am reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 12/13/2009

    " I'm currently reading Craig Venter's auobiography. A great line from the introduction, "DNA provides the music. Our cells and the environment provide the orchestra." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bo | 12/12/2009

    " It is very inspiring and interesting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack | 11/1/2009

    " Excellent book on his life and the discovery of the first human genome (his) that was published to the world. He won the Nobel Prize under Clinton "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 9/22/2009

    " It's no exaggeration to say this is The Double Helix for the 21st century. Far more technical details here, and, due to the unavoidable nature of latter-day high-end science, a lot about corporate politics and finance. Fun fact: James Watson is kind of a dick in this one too!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 2/11/2009

    " I skimmed this book which was easy to do. Cool passages were highlighted so I could read interesting bits involving more detail and information about parts of the genome. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Apeel | 11/22/2008

    " Don't bother unless you wouldlike to know about the sex-capades of this Nobel Lauriet. Some Good science in it. "

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About the Author
Author J. Craig Venter

J. Craig Venter is one of the leading scientists of the twenty-first century and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute. A pioneer in the world of genomic research, he is recognized for his visionary contributions to the field. In February 2001, Venter published the completed sequence of the human genome. He lives near Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and dozens of AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.