Catalogue


Glowing genes : a revolution in biotechnology /
Marc Zimmer.
imprint
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2005.
description
221 p.
ISBN
1591022533 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2005.
isbn
1591022533 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Living light -- From Pliny's walking stick to burning angels -- Using fireflies to look for life on Mars? -- Shimomura's "squeezate" -- Where is the GFP recipe? Let's photocopy it -- The birth of the green fluorescent protein revolution -- Thirsty potatoes and green blood -- Alba, the fluorescent rabbit -- Light in a can -- Red sheep from Russia -- Andi the green monkey and a yellow pig -- Cameleons, flip, fret, frap and camagaroos -- Cancer -- Glowing genes in medicine -- Defense, security, and bioterrorism -- Last light.
catalogue key
5342909
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Marc Zimmer is the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor and professor of chemistry at Connecticut College.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-09-01:
The impact of genetic research and biotechnology on the future is abundantly clear in Zimmer's Glowing Genes. In 16 fascinating chapters, Zimmer (chemistry, Connecticut College) presents a historical examination of the scientific endeavors regarding bioluminescence. In the initial chapters, he describes the groundbreaking experiments on fireflies and jellyfish that finally led to the isolation of the gene for green fluorescent protein (GFP) and to its cloning. In addition, he addresses the work on the structural analysis of GFP, including its amino acid sequence and three-dimensional morphology. Subsequent chapters reveal the use of GFP in such varied fields as art, science, and medicine. Readers will encounter topics as diverse as the use of GFP to create a fluorescent rabbit for an art exhibition and the generation of a yellow transgenic pig demonstrating a potential for human organ transplantation. The book concludes with a description of two important applications for GFP technology. Through a variety of techniques, GFP is being used as a way of monitoring the growth and spread of cancerous cells and as a marker to detect organisms that could possibly be used in bioterrorism. Several pages include typographical errors, but these do not detract from the overall value of the book. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. L. Brancaccio Taras CUNY Kingsborough Community College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-12-13:
Green fluorescent pigment (GFP), made naturally by jellyfish, has recently sparked a biological revolution. "GFP is a fantastically useful protein" because it can monitor and track other proteins "inside a living organism, without disrupting any molecular processes." As Connecticut College chemist Zimmer shows, scientists have cloned the gene for GFP and attached it to other genes in a wide array of organisms, from rabbits to monkeys and fish. When these other genes are turned on, GFP is produced and individual cells begin to glow. The diagnostic uses for this technique are critically important and varied. GFP may help with the early diagnosis of cancer, with tracking the spread of pathogenic bacteria and may provide a relatively quick and easy assay for anthrax, among other exciting uses. Additionally, GFP has already helped scientists better understand developmental processes in organisms, which may lead to cures for such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. While Zimmer is moderately successful in presenting the excitement associated with these breakthroughs, his clumsy prose often gets in the way of his message. His transitions between topics are so obtuse that much of his text reads like a series of extended digressions. Zimmer is at his best when explaining basic biology and chemistry; as his subject gets more complex, his explanations become more difficult to follow. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, December 2004
Booklist, January 2005
Choice, September 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
The first popular science book on fluorescent proteins, an amazing new area of biotechnology that will help fight cancer, create new products, improve agriculture, and combat terrorism.
Unpaid Annotation
Marc Zimmer has written the first popular science book on an amazing new area of biotechnology, which will help fight cancer, create new products, improve agriculture, and combat terrorism. For more than 160 million years, green fluorescent protein has existed in one species of jellyfish. In 1994 it was cloned, giving rise to a host of useful and potentially revolutionary applications in biotechnology. Today, researchers are using this ancient glowing protein to pursue exciting new discoveries, from tracking the process of bacterial infection to detecting chemical and biological agents planted by terrorists. A recognized expert in this field, Zimmer begins with an overview of the many uses of these glowing genes to kill and image cancer cells, monitor bacterial infections, and light up in the presence of pollution. Zimmer next turns to the serious, and not-so-serious, uses of fluorescent proteins, from crops that signal dryness by glowing to "Alba," the fluorescent bunny rabbit. Glowing Genes is a highly informative, fascinating, and entertaining read about a burgeoning area of biotechnology that promises soon to revolutionize our world.
Short Annotation
Marc Zimmer has written the first popular science book on an amazing new area of biotechnology, which will help fight cancer, create new products, improve agriculture, and combat terrorism.
Main Description
Marc Zimmer has written the first popular science book on an amazing new area of biotechnology that will help fight cancer, create new products, improve agriculture, and combat terrorism. For more than one hundred and sixty million years, green fluorescent protein has existed in one species of jellyfish. In 1994 it was cloned, giving rise to a host of useful and potentially revolutionary applications in biotechnology. Today researchers are using this ancient glowing protein to pursue exciting new discoveries, from tracking the process of bacterial infection to detecting chemical and biological agents planted by terrorists.
Table of Contents
Living lightp. 15
From Pliny's walking stick to burning anglesp. 27
Using fireflies to look for life on Mars?p. 39
Shimomura's "squeezate"p. 51
Where is the GFP recipe? : let's photocopy itp. 69
The birth of the green fluorescent protein revolutionp. 77
Thirsty potatoes and green bloodp. 91
Alba, the fluorescent rabbitp. 107
Light in a canp. 113
Red sheep from Russiap. 123
ANDi the green monkey and a yellow pigp. 133
Cameleons, FLIP, FRET, FRAP, and camgaroosp. 145
Cancerp. 157
Glowing genes in medicinep. 169
Defense, security, and bioterrorismp. 185
Last lightp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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