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February 21, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Alumni News | Book Reviewer Describes Ramakrishnan as Outsider

CP Rajendran of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research reviews Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan’s new book Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome in an article headlined “The Day of the Outsider.”

Colorful book cover for Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the RibosomeRamakrishnan earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Like the race to the discovery of DNA, Ramakrishnan’s quest for understanding an equally evasive life molecule of the ribosome that hosts RNA strands has all the ingredients of a suspense thriller like competitive ambition, intrigue, secrecy and occasional vanity, all of it finally capped by a thrilling finish….

There are numerous examples in science to argue that advances in scientific disciplines do not necessarily originate at the centre of inquiry, but are triggered by those at the margins who bring in new perspectives and analytical prowess; who are not weighed down by the dusty volumes of previously accrued knowledge. The spark of creativity—if it must leapfrog the disciplinary walls— needs to remain unencumbered by conventions and traditions. Ramakrishnan, a physicist by training, by his own admission was a rank outsider in molecular biology.

Read more of the review at OPEN magazine.

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