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The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to…

The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human…

by Michael D. West

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385509286, Hardcover)

Human beings have always hungered for immortality. But even in myths, those who find the secrets of eternal life often have to pay a high price. Michael West, CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, has spent most of his career as a biotechnologist seeking ways to make mammalian cells live forever. His successes put him at the center of political, moral, and religious firestorms. In The Immortal Cell, West offers not only a chronology of the emerging science of immortality, but a personal journal of his own path from strict creationist to ardent scientist seeking to shape human evolution. It was West and his cohorts who announced in 2001 that by inserting a person's own DNA into an unfertilized egg cell from a woman of reproductive age, they could create embryonic stem cells--cells that might be able to repair any number of problems for the DNA donor, including burns, cancer, degenerative disorders, and even normal aging. Accused of "playing God," West became one of the central figures in the debates on human cloning and was compared to Osama bin Laden by one histrionic news agent. In The Immortal Cell, West describes both the research and the furor that followed. Though the biology is a little tough for general readers, West does a fine job of using diagrams and step-by-step descriptions to explain his processes of cell culture and manipulation. The debate over therapeutic cloning of human cells is far from over, and readers seeking to better understand the debate will find West's book an unapologetic, one-sided argument in favor of human stem cell research. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:59 -0400)

"Dr. West was set on a quest to find a scientific solution to the devastating effects of disease and death after the death of his father. He became immersed in the study of cell aging and the discovery of the cellular "clock" telomerase - the mechanism that controls cell aging. His work led him to found the biotechnology company Geron, a pioneer in the field of stem cell research. His new company, Advanced Cell Technology, is the only organization in the United States pursuing human therapeutic cloning research - research in the field of "regenerative medicine" intended to repair damaged and diseased human organs and tissues." "Part memoir, part adventure story, The Immortal Cell chronicles the breakthroughs Dr. West and other scientists have made in biotechnology over the past decade - and the astonishing potential they offer us to cure diseases and improve the quality of human life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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