The 1970s and 80s saw the invention of ingenious new ways to manipulate DNA, which remain the cornerstone of today's genetic revolution, including the Human Genome Project. We begin with a scientist/magician demonstrating six simple tricks with DNA. Using these as building blocks, the more complex technologies of DNA fingerprinting, DNA sequencing, and PCR (the polymerase chain reaction) are explained in an easy to understand way. The excitement of this fertile period is brought to life through the personal recollections of its leading innovators. We also discuss the 1989 discovery of the gene for cystic fibrosis.