In Biocode, Dawn Field and Neil Davies capture the scale and excitement of the rapidly growing field of genomics. From automatic DNA sequencing of newborns to synthetic life, and the sequencing of whole ecosystems, genomics is set to revolutionize our understanding of life on Earth and affect us all.
- Describes the rapid rise of genomics, and the unprecedented possibilities it brings
- Sets out the implications for humans: compulsory DNA sequencing of newborns? Your genome snatched from a stray hair?
- Recounts the latest developments moving from sequencing to the creation of new forms of life
- Shows how genomics is revealing the scale and diversity of life on Earth, including vast swathes of hitherto unknown viruses and bacteria
- Explains the possibilities for the Earth: from genomic observatories to the dream of biocoding the whole planet
About the Author(s)
Dawn Field, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford eResearch Centre (OeRC), Oxford University, and Neil Davies, Executive Director, UC Berkeley - Gump South Pacific Research Station
Dawn Field is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford eResearch Centre at the University of Oxford, and the Head of Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics Group, Biodiversity Programme, at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. She has collaborated on metagenomics studies of the 'L4 site' in the Western Channel Observatory, making it one of the best-characterized microbial communities in the world.
Neil Davies lives on Moorea (sister island to Tahiti) in French Polynesia where he is the Executive Director of the University of California Berkeley's Gump South Pacific Research Station. He is the lead principal investigator of the Moorea Biocode Project, a $5m effort to sequence (DNA barcode) all non-microbial species on the island.
Both are Research Associates of the Biodiversity Institute of Oxford where they are using their complementary experiences to cofound the international Genomic Observatories (GOs) Network. They have published more than 140 scientific articles (including in Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, and PNAS) and have research interests in evolution, population genetics, genomics, metagenomics, DNA barcoding, bioinformatics, biodiversity, and data sharing. Both believe strongly in the power of concerted, international community-driven scientific actions. Field is the founder of the Genomic Standards Consortium, a growing nexus point for a wide
range of international projects in this domain and both serve on its Board. Together they are working to help champion the emergence of 'biodiversity genomics' as a scientific field.
Review from previous edition Biocode provides a very readable overview of the broad impact of genomics on our understanding of life. I recommended it to readers of all levels with a love or fascination of science. - J. Craig Venter Ph.D.
In this lovely, reaching, important book, Dawn Field and Neil Davies show us the front edge of a scientific movement that is transforming, simultaneously, science and our understanding of the world. If you want to understand the biological future, read this book. If you want to see what it looks like as scientists fumble with unknowns too big to really grab a hold of, read this book. If you want to know what the DNA in your house or pond or dog tell about you and the world, read this book. - Rob Dunn, biologist, writer and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University
Field and Davies survey the greatest hits and promises of genomics - Nature