Now Available

The Unedited is set in a near future where human genome editing has become routine. The story follows five young adults who find themselves at the focus of a major societal crisis, while coming to terms with the choices their parents made about their individual genomes.

also available from amazon, including for Kindle

This book includes an essay (scientific appendix): "Manipulating the human genome: technology and choice". Download free here:

Recent events

Pernille spoke on the role of narrative in science publishing 

at the  European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Science and Society Conference 

Science and Storytelling, October 24-25 2019

other novels by Pernille Rørth


Tumble Hitch

  Jessie Aitkin, the long-time Editor-in-Chief of a leading life sciences journal, gets a fantastic job offer. A young animal rights activist requests an interview with her husband, a research scientist at a prestigious institute. An unexpected revelation sets in motion events that shift the course of their careers and their relationship. 

Enthusiasm for basic research and for how science is – and could be – communicated combine in a thoughtful reflection on the impact of ambition on personal relationships. 

Now available at:   



Severe Penalties

  You are going to hang.  Unless your lawyer can prove that the drugs found in your luggage were not yours.  The death sentence is mandatory.  This is the situation facing David Chee, an ordinary family man from Singapore.  A European human rights lawyer gets interested and volunteers her help to a dynamic local lawyer who specializes in challenging cases that other lawyers are reluctant  to tackle. On her journey to find out how drugs got into David’s bag, she comes face to face with the  unfamiliar worlds of Singapore’s corporate culture, its high-living expats, and daily life in the heartlands. Knowing the language only gets you so far.  

Paperback available atørth/dp/1548998532/    



Raw Data - a novel on life in science

   Chloe and Karen are ambitious and independent-minded young scientists, both trying to make their mark in the competitive world of biomedical science.  They work in Tom Palmer’s lab at a top-tier research institute in the US.  Life in the lab is full of excitement and passion, but also frustrations, jealousy and the fear of being scooped. When honesty and scientific integrity are questioned in the context of a paper accepted at a prestigious journal, all are deeply affected and everyone must decide what actions to take to save their careers. 

available at and  


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about the author

 Pernille Rørth has led research labs at top institutions around the world, including European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Carnegie Institution for Science, Dept. of Embryology, U.S.A., and has published extensively in the fields of genetics and cell biology. She also served as Executive Editor (Editor-in-Chief) of The EMBO Journal for five years.  Her  novels ‘Raw Data’ and ‘Tumble Hitch’ (Springer, 2016 & 2018), explore ambition in the world of science and its impact on personal relationships. ‘Severe Penalties’ is a legal thriller set in Singapore (2017). Her newest work 'the Unedited' explores the impact of human genome manipulation on personal identity (Springer 2020).