Columbia Pictures, 1997
Made in 1997 (before the Human Genome Project!), this futuristic film offers a dystopian view of our DNA crisscrossed society. 'A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.' While you may not dream of becoming an astronaut, bioethical concerns surround the availability of cheap DNA analysis for everyone, and this film does a great job of putting those issues on the table. Plus it's the only film I know of with Jude Law, Uma Thurman, and Ethan Hawke!
James D. Watson
If you're curious about DNA, you can't avoid this book. It's the personal account of Watson and Crick’s (and Rosalind Franklin's!) groundbreaking discovery of the structure of DNA. By identifying the structure of DNA, these scientists revolutionized the world and won themselves a Nobel Prize. Also unavoidable for DNA geeks is the short, elegant, approachable Nature paper in which they described their findings (Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids).
Bruce Alberts et al.,
Garland Science, 2014
The 'Bible' of molecular biology, now in its 6th edition. 'Nuff said ...
Cosimo Classics, 2008
My grandmother gave me this book when I was 12, and it transformed my worldview. I really was more of a computer geek at that age, and didn't care much for living things, but was so compelled by this book that I decided I wanted to be a biologist! Darwin transformed our understanding of life on Earth it with his theory of evolution, and much of the basis for it was his research during the five-year journey he took as a 22-year-old on the HMS Beagle, which sailed South America and the South Pacific from 1831 to 1836. His trip included prolonged exploration of Patagonia in my native Argentina, as well as Darwin's celebrated visit to the Galapagos islands.