The Common Thread
Sulston explains how he spent many years studying the worm C Elegans - one cell at a time. With the advances in biotechnology he came to realise that sequencing its entire genome had become a possibility, and he was soon pursuing this goal. The worm led on to the Human Genome, and Sulston was chosen to set up and run the Sanger Centre.
Much of the book concerns the politics of getting funding for the sequencing of the genome, made more difficult by the fact that Craig Venter seemed to be doing the same thing more quickly and cheaply in a commercial context. Sulston argues that in fact the publicly funded version ended up as the reliable one. Venter tells his side of the story in his book A Life Decoded, where he claims his version was better. It's hard to be certain who is correct on this matter, but one can see Suslton's frustration when the work he had done and made available to all was being compared to what commercial companies were simply saying they had done.
In conclusion, I'd recommend this to all readers with an interest in the ethical issues of biotechnology and its commercialisation, as well as those who want to read the story of how a scientist, used to working in a small lab, dealt with the politics of 'big science'.