Apr 04

Molecular Biology of Cancer, by Lauren Pecorino ???

This is a standard textbook of molecular biology with a focus on cancer, and cell regulatory processes. It was written by a British researcher. The book is well organized, succinct, with many helpful blips or recommendations for learning the subject better. It is ideal for student use as a first exposure to the subject. Much effort was spent at discussing the process of cancer research, as well as the clinical application of what we know. My main problems with the book were 1) simplification for teaching purposes often led to too simple of explanation of pathways. He would usually only discuss regulatory pathways that currently were hot for research purposes, rather than including at least a hint of the multiple known pathways. Thus, he was moderately incomplete as a reference text. 2) He frequently appealed to the internet or to reference papers. That is great for the budding young scientist, but not for use as a reference text in your library. We purchase textbooks, expecting them to serve as reasonable summaries of known knowledge. Thus, other textbooks on the molecular biology of cancer serve this purpose better than Pecorino’s text. Of interesting note in the profound complexity of regulatory pathways, of which these pathways become more or more complex over time. It seems like we have just scratched the surface of understanding what makes a cell tick. I find it deeply troubling that scientists in one breath can talk about these impossibly complex systems, yet in the next breath suggest their accidental evolution. Which is one reason why I love science–it continually attests to a Creator.


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