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By ana (Sun Dec 01, 2019 at 10:17:07 AM EST) (all tags)
I did it again.

So when the month just past was about to open, I started getting the annual reminders (and requests for donations) from, the National Novel Writing Month program. I've participated in previous years, and one of those efforts resulted, with substantial edits, in my book Necessary Lies, available on Amazon.

I did that while working full time. Which is no longer a feature in my life. I had a bunch of next generation kinds of vignettes lying around, written in large part because characters don't leave you alone after you finish the book they're in; they keep bugging you to write more about them.

So I shuffled together a couple of setup tales about the characters in NL ten-ish years on, did some minimal rectifying to get each tale told only once and to make them sort of consistent with each other, and started stapling stuff together. Eventually, though, a novel needs a plot.

This being me we're talking about, probably some kind of sciencey thing. I usually do sort of character-driven sci-fi, with various amounts of science. Lately that science seems to be molecular biology. About which my ignorance is woh.

So, yeah, I'm gonna prolly hafta rewrite that part several times. And since I only figured out 80% of the way through where the story was going, the science part is kinda crammed in to the final chapters. And the conflict... I seem to be a subscriber to the Pogo comic's aphorism: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

If anybody can recommend a coherent book on molecular biology that's less than a few years old (and includes some CRISPR/Cas9 stuff), Please do. 

I found it amusing that one of the most suspenseful scenes has our heroine (age around 30) helping her mom (age 60), sitting on a train, with an elaborate google query, using wifi poached from another train during a stopover in Penn Station. Train to leave Any Moment Now...

Oh and the end of the human race. Ho-hum.

#include <std/autocorrect_whine.h>

Anyway. It was fun. Last week my fb memories brought up the fact that I had finished the manuscript of NL, four years ago. So maybe in a few years this one will be available too, in substantially upgraded form.

I think the next project is going to have to be writing lectures on planets near and far, for a course I agreed to give here in February. I figured I'd start with the Drake Equation, which factors our ignorance about all aspects of the "are we alone?" question into more ponderable ones, some of which we can now estimate with some confidence. One of those is the question of how many planets are there, and, just coming into view in the distance, how many of those planets are likely to be habitable earth-like ones.

So, all you imaginary friends in my head, can you sit down and shut up for a few months, please?
< One of my brothers hates my mother | So you are stranded in the past? >
Oops | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
Nope, sorry by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Dec 02, 2019 at 06:38:20 AM EST
We've got even more things to say.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Molecular Biology by ni (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Dec 05, 2019 at 04:47:28 PM EST
There are a few core molecular biology textbooks which everyone more or less agrees are the best, conveniently. "Molecular Biology of the Cell" is really excellent (and the book I learned from). I think most people would say it's the best molecular biology textbook around. "Molecular Cell Biology" is also good, but much less encyclopedic. It's possible to... procure... digital copies of the first, and probably the second.

I don't know if current editions of either address CRISPR -- I suppose it probably gets at least a brief mention. There are, as far as I know, no really good books on techniques, at least from a theoretical standpoint. For practical, day to day aspects of how to do something, "Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual" has been something akin to a bible in the field for 30 years, and you won't find a molecular biology lab without a well-thumbed copy, but it's limited in what it covers. Again, I don't know if current versions address CRISPR at all (but I'd guess not). Techniques change quickly, and until things are quite old and settled most people learn from papers.

Jove (the Journal of Visualized Experiments) offers video protocols for performing many techniques. They're mostly subscription-based, but there is some free content. Here's some free content on CRISPR, for example.

I can probably answer most specific questions (as could iGrrrl, of course).

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

Thanks... by ana (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Dec 05, 2019 at 05:15:13 PM EST
I'll have a look-see. 

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

[ Parent ]
Access by ni (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Dec 05, 2019 at 06:48:27 PM EST
Let me know if journal access (including to most of jove) would help at all: I don't know if you still have yours.

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
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