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The story of the search for p53 - the most important gene in medicine. Shortlisted for the BMA Medical Book Awards 2015.

Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1: Flesh of our Own Flesh Chapter 2: The Enemy Within Chapter 3: Discovery Chapter 4: Unseeable Biology Chapter 5: Cloning the Gene Chapter 6: A Case of Mistaken Identity Chapter 7: A New Angle on Cancer Chapter 8: p53 Reveals its True Colours Chapter 9: Master Switch Chapter 10: ‘Guardian of the Genome’ Chapter 11: Of Autumn Leaves and Cell Death Chapter 12: Of Mice and Men Chapter 13: The Guardian’s Gatekeeper Chapter 14: The Smoking Gun Chapter 15: Following the Fingerprints Chapter 16: Cancer in the Family Chapter 17: The Tropeiro Connection? Chapter 18: Jekyll and Hyde Chapter 19: Cancer and Ageing: A Balancing Act Chapter 20: The Treatment Revolution Dramatis Personae Glossary Notes on Sources Acknowledgements Index

About the Author

Sue Armstrong is a science writer and broadcaster based in Edinburgh. She has worked for a variety of media organisations, including New Scientist, and since the 1980s has undertaken regular assignments for the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, writing about women's health issues and the AIDS pandemic, among many other topics, and reporting from the frontline in countries as diverse as Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Thailand, Namibia and Serbia. Sue has been involved, as presenter, writer and researcher, in several major medical documentaries for BBC Radio 4.


More than any textbook, article, or lecture could, this book offers a sip of contagious enthusiasm and a conviction that scientists will eventually “crack the cancer code"

Armstrong’s book is genuinely engrossing on many levels, and the story is very well told. It has considerable depth, yet sufficient clarity to be able to reach a wide audience ... a highly readable, well-written and crafted book.

A succinct, accessible study of humanity's genetic bulwark against cancer.

One of the best accounts I’ve read of how science is actually performed.
*The Guardian*

Armstrong paints a very human picture ... Not only does Armstrong make p53 understandable but she also sheds light on the scientific method. In an age of government austerity, highlighting the importance of scientific research is also a gift.
*The Lancet*

Ms. Armstrong¹s book comes alive in the sections where she explores cancer¹s human toll, including the devastating experience of families with rare genetic mutations, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, which leaves children of parents with a faulty gene vulnerable to cancer at almost any age. She also captures the excitement of researchers as they come upon eureka moments.
*Wall Street Journal*

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