BREAKTHROUGH

THE RACE TO FIND THE BREAST CANCER GENE

Davies (editor of the journal Nature Genetics) and White (coauthor, Einstein: A Life in Science, 1994) describe one of the most dramatic discoveries to date regarding the influence of genetic factors on health—the most exciting frontier in medical research. The authors relate the discovery and its background in full detail, providing an effective foundation for understanding not only the process of locating the breast cancer gene but, more generally, the nature and treatment of breast cancer. Cancer is the result of an error in the DNA that regulates normal cell division, caused either by an external agency, such as radiation, or by a congenital ``mistake'' in the DNA. The fact that having close female relatives with breast cancer greatly increaseed a woman's odds of getting the disease indicated that a faulty gene might be active in these cases. By the late 1980s, research zeroed in on a gene designated BRAC1, the chromosomal location of which was announced in 1990 by Dr. Mary Claire-King of the School of Public Health at Berkeley. King's discovery—which the authors compare to narrowing down a search for a missing person from all of North America to New York—set off a race among researchers to pinpoint the precise location of BRAC1. King joined forces with Francis Collins, whose laboratory had isolated the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease. But in October 1994, a team headed by Mark Skolnick of the University of Utah isolated the gene. While the discovery does not provide a cure for cancer—or even a clue to one—it may allow women to more accurately assess their own risk. Perhaps in the long run, the discovery will lead to genetic therapy for those women who carry the gene. A well-written and exceptionally detailed overview of the search for the breast cancer gene, spotlighting the breakthrough in its full dramatic impact.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 1996

ISBN: 0-417-12025-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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