the philadelphia chromosome a genetic mystery a lethal cancer and the improbable invention of a lifesaving treatment

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The Philadelphia Chromosome

Author : Jessica Wapner
ISBN : 9781615191659
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 68 MB
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The discovery of a cancer-causing genetic mutation leads to a lifesaving miracle drug in this “absorbing, complex medical detective story” (Kirkus Reviews). Philadelphia, 1959. A scientist scrutinizing a single human cell detects a missing piece of DNA. That scientist, David Hungerford, has just stumbled on the starting point of modern cancer research?the Philadelphia chromosome. It would take doctors and researchers around the world more than three decades to unravel the implications of this landmark discovery. In 1990, the Philadelphia chromosome was recognized as the sole cause of a deadly blood cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML. Cancer research would never be the same. With extensive research and numerous personal interviews, science journalist Jessica Wapner reconstructs the decades-long journey from Hungerford’s discovery to a breakthrough, lifesaving treatment. A chronicle of scientific rigor and determination, The Philadelphia Chromosome celebrates a rare triumph in the battle against cancer while offering a blueprint for future research. One of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2013

A Contagious Cause

Author : Robin Wolfe Scheffler
ISBN : 9780226628370
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 31 MB
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Is cancer a contagious disease? In the late nineteenth century this idea, and attending efforts to identify a cancer "germ," inspired fear and ignited controversy. Yet speculation that cancer might be contagious also contained a kernel of hope that the strategies used against infectious diseases, especially vaccination, might be able to subdue this dread disease. Today, nearly one in six cancers are thought to have an infectious cause, but the path to that understanding was twisting and turbulent. ​ A Contagious Cause is the first book to trace the century-long hunt for a human cancer virus in America, an effort whose scale exceeded that of the Human Genome Project. The government's campaign merged the worlds of molecular biology, public health, and military planning in the name of translating laboratory discoveries into useful medical therapies. However, its expansion into biomedical research sparked fierce conflict. Many biologists dismissed the suggestion that research should be planned and the idea of curing cancer by a vaccine or any other means as unrealistic, if not dangerous. Although the American hunt was ultimately fruitless, this effort nonetheless profoundly shaped our understanding of life at its most fundamental levels. A Contagious Cause links laboratory and legislature as has rarely been done before, creating a new chapter in the histories of science and American politics.

Pharmocracy

Author : Kaushik Sunder Rajan
ISBN : 9780822373285
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45. 35 MB
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Continuing his pioneering theoretical explorations into the relationships among biosciences, the market, and political economy, Kaushik Sunder Rajan introduces the concept of pharmocracy to explain the structure and operation of the global hegemony of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. He reveals pharmocracy's logic in two case studies from contemporary India: the controversial introduction of an HPV vaccine in 2010, and the Indian Patent Office's denial of a patent for an anticancer drug in 2006 and ensuing legal battles. In each instance health was appropriated by capital and transformed from an embodied state of well-being into an abstract category made subject to capital's interests. These cases demonstrate the precarious situation in which pharmocracy places democracy, as India's accommodation of global pharmaceutical regulatory frameworks pits the interests of its citizens against those of international capital. Sunder Rajan's insights into this dynamic make clear the high stakes of pharmocracy's intersection with health, politics, and democracy.

Herding Hemingway S Cats

Author : Kat Arney
ISBN : 9781472910066
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 9 MB
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The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise. So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work? There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the 'recipes' that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with myriad control switches ensuring they're turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. Figuring out how it all works – how your genes build your body – is a major challenge for researchers around the world. And what they're discovering is that far from genes being a fixed, deterministic blueprint, things are much more random and wobbly than anyone expected. Drawing on stories ranging from six toed cats and stickleback hips to Mickey Mouse mice and zombie genes – told by researchers working at the cutting edge of genetics – Kat Arney explores the mysteries in our genomes with clarity, flair and wit, creating a companion reader to the book of life itself.

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