p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code (Paperback)

p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code By Sue Armstrong Cover Image

p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code (Paperback)

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The story of the search for p53--the most important gene in medicine.

All of us have lurking in our DNA a most remarkable gene: it is known simply as p53 and its job is to protect us from cancer. p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code tells the story of the discovery of the gene and of medical science’s mission to unravel its mysteries and get to the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. When all is well, this gene constantly scans our cells to ensure that when they grow and divide as part of the routine maintenance of our bodies, they do so without mishap. If a cell makes a mistake in copying its DNA during the process of division, p53 stops it in its tracks, sending in the repair team before allowing the cell to carry on dividing. Cancer cannot develop unless p53 itself is damaged or handicapped by some other fault in the system. Not surprisingly, p53 is the most studied single gene in history.

Through the personal accounts of key researchers, the book reveals the excitement of the hunt for new cures--the hype, the enthusiasm, the lost opportunities, the blind alleys and the thrilling breakthroughs. As the long-anticipated revolution in cancer treatment tailored to each individual patient’s symptoms starts to take off at last, p53 is at the cutting edge. This is a timely tale of scientific discovery and advances in our understanding of a disease that still affects more than one in three of us at some point in our lives.

Sue Armstrong is a science writer and foreign correspondent who has worked for New Scientist and BBC World Service. Since the 1980s, she has undertaken regular assignments for the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, writing about health issues. The author of A Matter of Life and Death: Inside the Hidden World of the Pathologist, Armstrong lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Product Details ISBN: 9781472910523
ISBN-10: 1472910524
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Pages: 288
Language: English

“It's not the destination that's important here, but the journey. This is not only a story about the gene on chromosome 17, nor only about the nature of cancer, but also about how science works.” —The Boston Globe

“Ms. Armstrong's book comes alive in the sections where she explores cancer's human toll . . . She also captures the excitement of researchers as they come upon eureka moments.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A brilliant narrative that captures the essence of the scientific challenges faced by researchers in this pursuit and the progress that has been made in our understanding of p53.” —Science

“She covers every aspect of cancer development, giving us a sense of how this evasive illness persists, even in the face of modern medicine . . . It is with hope and hard work that we can look to the future with optimism. ” —San Francisco Book Review