The Catalyst by Thomas R. Cech

The Catalyst by Tom Cech
Thomas R. Cech

Forthcoming, June 4, 2024

The Catalyst: RNA and the Quest to Unlock Life’s Deepest Secrets by Thomas R. Cech unveils the groundbreaking discoveries of the past decades, positioning RNA as the pivotal player in biology’s fundamental questions, spanning the origins of life, human nature, aging, and the transformative potential of cutting-edge therapies like CRISPR and mRNA vaccines.

A Nobel Prize–winning scientist reveals biology’s most transformative achievements in decades—a Double Helix for the dawning of the RNA age.

Over the last half century, a quiet revolution has taken place. In a series of breathtaking discoveries, biochemist Thomas Cech and a diverse cast of brilliant scientists have revealed RNA at the center of biology’s greatest mysteries, from how life began to what makes us human to why we age. At last, The Catalyst pulls back the curtain to show how RNA—long sidelined as the passive servant of DNA—defines life, from its very origins to our future in the twenty-first century. Recounting his own paradigm-shifting discovery that RNA can catalyze biochemical reactions, as well as his work on the “fountain of youth” telomerase, Cech unfolds how RNA holds the key to the intricate machinery of our cells, the critical processes of aging and disease, and the spectacular powers of breakthrough therapies from CRISPR to mRNA vaccines. From one of our foremost scientists, The Catalyst is a must-read guide to the present and future of biology and medicine.

Thomas R. Cech, is a distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder and a research scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His many honors include the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

  • ISBN:  1324050683
  • ISBN-13:  978-1324050681
  • 320 pages
  • June 4, 2024

Published by:  W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.