Natural Obsessions: The Search for the Oncogene

Natalie Angier, Author, Lewis Thomas, Designed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.45 (394p) ISBN 978-0-395-45370-4
Two rival teams of eminent biologists studying oncogenesthe coils of DNA that control cancer growth in cellsare the focus of this overlong, detailed report by a New York University Graduate School instructor. One group, at the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute, is led by molecular biologist Robert Weinberg, portrayed here as the father figure of a bickering but close-knit tribe of underpaid graduate students and ``postdocs.'' Michael Wigler, a flamboyant, eccentric prodigy, heads the other team at the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory in New York. The significance of cancer-fighting discoveries tends to get lost here amid soul-searching, petty rivalries and tentative experiments. Scientific research, we learn, is an enterprise beset by ridiculous mistakes and false results. A fondness for solving puzzles seems to motivate these scientists more than a desire to help suffering humanity. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-0-395-92472-3
Paperback - 978-0-446-39060-6
Hardcover - 418 pages - 978-0-544-31085-8
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-544-35834-8
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