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Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, the President of the Royal Society and Nobel Prize-winning chemist, in conversation with Adam Rutherford, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science, about his book The Gene Machine: The race to decipher the secrets of the ribosome.

DNA 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.

In his book The Gene Machine, Ramakrishnan charts the 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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