A Code for Carolyn

A Genomic Thriller

  • V. Anne Smith

Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. The Novel

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. V. Anne Smith
      Pages 3-204
  3. The Science Behind the Fiction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. V. Anne Smith
      Pages 207-235

About this book


Carolyn’s parents did not, after all, make genomics history by synthesizing her genome in a lab. She has known she is the "Human Hoax" ever since a high school genetics exercise revealed she has trisomy X—a chromosomal abnormality—yet no synthetically constructed genome would have such clear traces of natural conception. Many years later, as molecular biologist, she hopes her colleagues never learn of her embarrassing origins. But when someone ransacks her office and lab, she finds professional embarrassment is the least of her worries. Someone believes she has the results of her parents’ last, secret experiments, and is willing to kill to get them. But all she has from her parents are their genes—can she find what else they may have left her before somebody else does?

In a not-so-distant society, where corporations wield as much power as nations and the line between corporate employee and state authority is blurred, the chase is on. Carolyn may have just too little time at hand to unravel the mystery of her parents’ final days and to realize the deep consequences for the future of mankind.

This fast-paced novel is followed by an extensive science chapter where the author provides a non-technical primer on modern genetics and on the speculative biology behind Carolyn’s code.

Dr V Anne Smith is on the biology faculty at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She researches computational biology, concentrating on complex biological networks. She develops algorithms to infer functional interactions based upon observational data, generating biological discovery in areas as diverse as ecosystems and gene regulation. In addition to doing research, she enjoys writing science fiction stories. A Code for Carolyn is her first scientific novel.


Genetic and codon code Genetic engineering Genetic thriller Genomic thriller Science and Fiction Synthetic biology and synthetic genomes Telomeres and molecular ageing Trisomy X

Authors and affiliations

  • V. Anne Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiologyUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-04551-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-04553-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2197-1188
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-1196
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