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The book grew out of the development of the website This is a non-profit educational resource that tells the stories of the people, places and tools behind biotechnology. The website aims to bring to life some of the challenges scientists face when translating laboratory research into diagnostic and therapeutic products and the impact that biotechnology has had, and is continuing to have, on the lives of patients and the working practices of clinicians. This is done through a rich display of materials collected from many different sources, including letters, laboratory notebooks, papers and photographs as well as interviews with key individuals.

Neither the website nor this book can fully capture all of the changes that biotechnology has made to medicine. They can only offer a snapshot of what is an ever-growing field. Yet, they provide a window into some of the exciting advances biotechnology has brought to medicine in recent years and their attendant risks and benefits.

This book could not have been written without the generosity of the many individuals who contributed to its different chapters. I am truly grateful to them all. Their hard work made my editorial work immeasurably easier. Many thanks also go to Rowan Frame and her team at the Royal Society of Chemistry for helping to guide the book to its completion.

Lara Marks

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