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Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA [NOOK Book]

Overview

Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn--one of Time magazine's 100 "Most Influential People in the World" in 2007--made headlines in 2004 when she was dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics after objecting to the council's call for a moratorium on stem cell research and protesting the suppression of relevant scientific evidence in its final report. But it is Blackburn's groundbreaking work on telomeric DNA, which launched the field of telomere research, that will have the more profound and ...
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Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA

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Overview

Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn--one of Time magazine's 100 "Most Influential People in the World" in 2007--made headlines in 2004 when she was dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics after objecting to the council's call for a moratorium on stem cell research and protesting the suppression of relevant scientific evidence in its final report. But it is Blackburn's groundbreaking work on telomeric DNA, which launched the field of telomere research, that will have the more profound and long-lasting effect on science and society. In this compelling biography, Catherine Brady tells the story of Elizabeth Blackburn's life and work and the emergence of a new field of scientific research on the specialized ends of chromosomes and the enzyme, telomerase, that extends them. In the early stages of telomere research, telomerase, heralded as a potential cure for cancer and diseases related to aging, attracted the voracious interest of biotech companies. The surrounding hype succeeded in confusing the role of telemorase in extending the life of a cell with a mechanism that might extend the lifespan of an entire organism. In Brady's hands, Blackburn's story reveals much about the tension between pure and applied science, the politicking that makes research science such a competitive field, and the resourceful opportunism that characterizes the best scientific thinking. Brady describes the science accessibly and compellingly. She explores Blackburn's struggle to break down barriers in an elite, male-dominated profession, her role as a mentor to other women scientists (many of whom have made their mark in telomere research), and the collaborative nature of scientific work. This book gives us a vivid portrait of an exceptional woman and a new understanding of the combination of curiosity, imaginative speculation, and aesthetic delight that powers scientific discovery.Catherine Brady is Assistant Professor in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of two collections of short stories, The End of the Class War and Curled in the Bed of Love (a winner of the 2002 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction).
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Incorporating significant material from interviews with molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn and several others close to her and her work, this biography examines both personal and professional aspects of Blackburn's life. Following a woman scientist whose career began in the 1970s, gender issues experienced by women in science are logically addressed, but they are only one aspect in the larger story of Blackburn's experiences and contributions. The narrative touches on many different concerns scientists must navigate during their careers, including publishing and establishing precedents, balancing career and family, and negotiating the politics of academia, laboratories, public policy, and public opinion. Notes on Brady, a professor in the MFA in writing program at the University of San Francisco, do not indicate any science background; however, the text includes a great deal of information about Blackburn's scientific discoveries, providing a wealth of detail in an accessible manner. Recommended for academic libraries, especially those with collection interests in women in science or history of science.
—Barbarly Korper McConnell

From the Publisher

"Catherine Brady's Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of
Telomeres
offers a commanding account of an inspiring effort to overcome gender bias along with advice about doing science, conquering academic politics, and taking responsible positions on science policy."
Science

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262261968
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 408
  • File size: 798 KB

Meet the Author

Catherine Brady is Assistant Professor in the MFA in Writing Program at the
University of San Francisco. She is the author of two collections of short stories,
The End of the Class War and Curled in the Bed of
Love
(a winner of the 2002 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short
Fiction).
Read More Show Less

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