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

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


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: 236,967

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

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