Tears of the Cheetah: The Genetic Secrets of Our Animal Ancestors

Tears of the Cheetah: The Genetic Secrets of Our Animal Ancestors

Paperback

By (author) Stephen J. O'Brien

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  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Griffin,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 203mm x 28mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 29 April 2005
  • Publication City/Country: California
  • ISBN 10: 0312339003
  • ISBN 13: 9780312339005
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 8pp b&w photographs
  • Sales rank: 437,212

Product description

TEARS OF THE CHEETAH is a collection of genetic detective stories that uncover the secret histories of exotic species such as the giant panda, the humpback whale, and the imperilled cheetah - the world's fastest animal that cannot escape its own genetic weaknesses. With each animal tale, the author draws a human parallel - how feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) has uncovered clues in a cure for HIV, how mapping the genome of the domestic cat solved a murder, how a mutation in brown mice might stave off leukaemia, and other important animal research that has paved the way towards the future of gene therapy.

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Author information

Dr. Stephen J. O'Brien is head of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institutes, National Institutes of Health. Dr. O'Brien is internationally recognized for his research contributions in human and animal genetics, evolutionary biology, retrovirology, and species conservation. In collaboration with his students, fellows, and colleagues he has researched areas as diverse as mapping the genome of the cat, to the discovery of CCR5-32, the first human gene shown to block infection by HIV among its carriers. Dr. O'Brien is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific articles that have appeared widely in" National Geographic, Scientific American, Nature "and "Science."

Review quote

""Tears of the Cheetah" is told by O'Brien with such literary mastery that one can hardly lay his book down...O'Brien has succeeded in presenting his stories in a simple language that can be understood even by the non-expert. There is no other book I have read in recent years for which I have learned and enjoyed more." - Ernst Mayr ""Tears of the Cheetah" will certainly do a great deal to persuade the lay person that genomics and the mysteries of genetics have immediate and practical application to our lives. I enjoyed the well told and fast paced stories." - Richard Leakey, author of "Wildlife Wars" "Steve O'Brien is a national treasure. A distinguished molecular biologist studying cancer and AIDS, he is also a dedicated conservationist who wields the tools of recombinant DNA to help protect endangered species. "Tears of the Cheetah" shows that he's a captivating story teller too. It's Crick and Watson meet The Wild Kingdom!" - Eric Lander, principal scientist and leader of the International Human Genome Project. "This is an authoritative foray into the world of both animal and human genetics, but not a static account of esoteric information. Rather, this is a lively telling of fascinating stories of the personal experiences of the author that illustrate numerous practical applications of the studies of DNA and molecular genetics...O'Brien shows us a free-spirited, ever confident and wide ranging curiosity evident in his marvelous adventures of three decades of research in mouse, cat, and man. This book will be interesting reading for any student of life." - Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV "In lively and clear prose, Stephen O'Brien takes us on a fascinating journey through three decades of the application of molecular biology to conservation, and illustrates how these advances can assist in the control of human disease. Highly educational, personal, and exciting, this book will help its readers to understand the golden age of biology that we entered about 50 years ago and its implications for everyone." - Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and author of "The Biology of Plants" li0"A riveting mix of genetics, evolution, wild species and human health. Stephen O'Brien tells detective stories Conan Doyle would envy." - Thomas Lovejoy, author of "The Magnificent Exception"