Natural Obsessions / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $11.67   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   


As dramatic as The Double Hex and as absorbing as The Soul of a New Machine, Natural Obsessions explores the advanced reaches of molecular biology, the nature of the human cell, and the genes that control cancer. It unforgettably portrays some of the best young scientists in the world, the rewards and discouragements of scientific research, and the very process of scientific inquiry.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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)
Library Journal
In recent years, molecular biology has developed so rapidly and become so complex, it is difficult even for a scientist to follow the latest manipulations of genetic material and related discoveries, such as the role of oncogenes (mutant genes, apparently triggering the development of cancer). Journalist Angier spent several months at two laboratories that are in the forefront of this research, observing the work of graduate students, postdoctorate fellows, and technicians, all under the command of senior scientists. Her involvement with their lives, work, triumphs, and failures overshadows her attempts to colloquialize and clarify the scientific results of the research, so the reader eventually abandons the science being done for Angier's vivid and absorbing portrayal of the people doing it. Recommended for this reason, rather than for its exposition of the oncogene search. Eleanor Maass, Maass Assocs., New Milford, Pa.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395924723
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 418
  • Sales rank: 949,029
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

NATALIE ANGIER is a Pulitzer-Prize winning science columnist for the New York Times. She is the author of The Canon, The Beauty of the Beastly, and Natural Obsessions. She lives outside Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)