John Mattick and Paulo Amaral have just recently published a book - RNA, the Epicenter of Genetic Information: A new understanding of molecular biology. The book is Open Access and can be downloaded in its entirety here.
“Thrilling and provocative ... There is a need for such a book... There’s nothing quite like this out there. An epic tale of biology’s central molecule, RNA. DNA does only one thing, store information. RNA has a thrilling plethora of functions, including telling DNA what to do. This book takes the reader on an odyssey through the wonders of RNA and its central role in biology. DNA science dominated the second half of the 20th Century, but it’s clear that the 21st Century belongs to RNA. This long-overdue book reveals the diverse wonders of RNA in a series of thrilling and provocative stories.” Tom Cech, University of Colorado, Boulder
“The book is truly monumental and will be treasured by RNA scientists and others, as well. It beautifully captures the excitement and wonder that I have been lucky to experience working in the RNA field since the early 1960s.” Joan Steitz, Yale University
“This book is really disruptive and presents a coherent view of our understanding of biology in terms of the genetic molecules, the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA. It covers an immense territory of molecular biology and its history of discoveries, all presented with a clear-cut intellectual thread. ... It is very timely by its breadth and emphasis on the role of RNA in biology. It makes a strong case for RNA and its late acceptance... the fight uphill, like that of Sisyphus, was tough and demanded a lot of perseverance. It is really rather complete.” Eric Westhof, University of Strasbourg
“The book is unique. It provides the long-overdue correction of the still widespread static views on evolution, development and genome organization and function. It has the potential to induce radical changes in widely held views and attitudes.” Peter Vogt, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla
"RNA, the Epicenter of Genetic Information is much more than what its title might suggest. This epic book by Mattick and Amaral superbly reflects the continuing excitement about RNA research. It is not only a description of our current understanding of the role of RNA in cell and developmental biology but is also a useful history of molecular biology. Each of the eighteen chapters is a brilliantly written semi-autonomous essay on a particular segment of the RNA odyssey. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anybody interested in the biology of RNA, in evolution, and in the organization and function of complex genomes.” Witold Filipowicz, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel