May 27th – Thursday’s Tome: A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna & Samuel Sternberg

4.75 stars to A Crack in Creation!

5 Things I Liked about A Crack in Creation

  • The nicely labelled pictures
  • Thoughts about the future of CRISPR
  • How well the science is interwoven with the background of creation
  • The small things that seemed to have clicked into place by accident
  • Knowing a little bit more about how labs work


The cover unlocked my interest since it was a DNA molecule cut directly in half, which was a great way to introduce the premise of the book which focuses mainly on CRISPR and rewriting genetic codes. I’m always intrigued by genetics and this one kept my interest since it was one of the writers is the co-inventor of CRISPR and talks about the dreams/reality of genetic manipulation.   
1 🌟 for sparked


There were a few moments when I had to re-read sentences to make sure I knew what the author meant, but overall Jennifer Doudna writes with a high-readability, defining terms when needed and explaining who the people are that she introduces, and why they’re important. The sentences were nicely balanced and didn’t pop out to break my concentration by being either too short or too wordy.
3/4 🌟 for readability


A Crack in Creation doesn’t require a person to be well-verses in genetics as Doudna uses illustrations to shore up what she explains well in writing, and will also explain in non-genetic terms. My favorite was “Imagine trying to correct an error in a news article after the newspapers have been printed and delivered, as opposed to when the article is still just a text file on the editor’s computer.” This was in her discussion of somatic (any that cannot transmit DNA to offspring) cells and germ (which allow inheritance by the next generation) cells.
1 🌟 for plot


The book advances from slightly before CRISPR, goes into the shaping of CRISPR, and talks about the ethics/arguments of how to use CRISPR an in engaging narrative. Each chapter added to the one before it and they flowed logically, at a pace that I felt wasn’t slogging (even if it also wasn’t a fast trot to the end). People are named when needed, but the information comes naturally and doesn’t feel as if Doudna is name-dropping or using terms. 
1 🌟 for flow


I enjoyed reading A Crack in Creation and looked to see what other books Doudna might have had a hand in written. There were many moments of aha! noises, groans of understanding, and nods while I read, in addition to a few spots that I read aloud to family members (who may have been interested or who may have just indulged me, who knows?)
1 🌟 for evoked

Published by CoffeeQuills

A Tokyo writer, I walk through destroyed lands, play with DNA strings like a kitten, and cast magic all about me. Prickly when poked, and subsiding on coffee, I may be a hedgehog in human form. Possibly.

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