Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA (MIT Press)

Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA
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Two of those wrote down the title.

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There is something quite intriguing about Blackburn, telomeres, DNA, and the successes of a woman scientist that seems to attract broad interest. Fortunately, Brady has given us a marvelous book that will satisfy a wide variety of appetites.

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Brady gives us Blackburn the scientist. This is not a biography of the sort where we learn intimate details about her life. Yes, she is married to another scientist, and she has a son.

They appear occasionally, as does her own thinking about her roles as a mother and wife. But the family and personal details are not the focus here. Instead, we see a story of telomeres, in which Elizabeth Blackburn plays a central role.

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And then the hypothesis started coming, could they be added on to the end of chromosomes by an enzyme? What have been some of your favorite places to visit? But those were the ones that grabbed me for science—also the biography of Madame Curie. I thought they were so cute but she saw them as little vermin. People tend to look to see what others are reading on a plane. And I remember I had little guinea pigs and one of them had little babies.

So do Carol Greider, Joseph Gall, and many, many other collaborators, students, post-docs, and colleagues. Science is a team effort, and Brady presents Blackburn as the leader of a team.

Elizabeth Blackburn (UCSF): Discovery of Telomeric DNA and Telomerase

That she is a brilliant leader of a superbly successful team makes the story enticing. That they have come upon truly innovative work on telomeres and telomerase, which has turned out to be extremely important in cell development and aging as a core biological phenomenon adds further interest.

Brady makes the convincing case that Blackburn is a very likely future Nobel Prize winner, or at the least that she deserves the Prize. Yet Brady also does an excellent job of making it seem that such an award is not particularly important to Blackburn, to science, or to the story of what really matters about understanding telomeres. DNA synthesis. San Francisco : W.

Freeman, Identification of a specific telomere terminal transferase activity in Tetrahymena extracts. Cell ; 43 : — Med Sci Paris ; 19 : — Med Sci Paris ; 16 : —6.

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Med Sci Paris ; 24 : —9. Telomeres and telomerase: the path from maize, Tetrahymena and yeast to human cancer and aging. Nat Med ; 12 : —8. Elisabeth Blackburn and the story of telomeres. Deciphering the ends of DNA.

Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres

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