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December 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

Alumni News | Ramakrishnan Authors ‘Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome’

Ohio University alum and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan authored a new book titled Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome.

Ramakrishnan earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Colorful book cover for Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome“Ramakrishnan is an Indian-born American and British structural biologist. He shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the structure and function of the ribosome, and was knighted in 2012. In 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society. He works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge,” says the book’s website.

Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.

Venki Ramakrishnan tells the story of the race to uncover the ribosome’s enormously complex structure, a fundamental breakthrough that resolves an ancient mystery of life itself and could lead to the development of better antibiotics. A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.



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