OF MICE, MEN AND MOLECULES by Dr. John H. Heller

OF MICE, MEN AND MOLECULES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A quite fascinating prospectus of what basic research has to offer mankind and the Homo superior it could develop has been presented by Dr. Heller, who founded the New England Institute for Medical Research in 1953 where the entire ""spectrum of science"" (doctors, biologists, physicists, etc.) could attack fundamental problems. If Dr. Heller has oversimplified some of the works in progress, it is to make basic research accessible to the general reader and enlist his support. Here, in the mid 20th century, what new cures we have (chiefly antibiotics) have been accidental discoveries. There has been no real advance in our knowledge of the causative factors of disease, at the molecular level, and at this level only will any real breakthroughs be made. Psychochemistry has established that ""Freud without molecules is passe"", and Dr. Heller illustrates other avenues of inquiry-- the RE cells which mobilize against disease (but how they identify invaders is still to be determined)--the cellular running interference in grafts and transplants- the incalculable hormones- the effect of radio frequency on cellular life- etc., etc. Basic research, dealing as it does with the unknown, has no easy, tangible assurances to offer the public but it needs immeasurable funds, for which Dr. Heller, along with Eisenhower-in a foreword, makes a strong appeal. And familiarity with its purpose and potential, such as this book affords, takes that giant step.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Scribner