Ranked 8th of 20 Best-Sellers in the Physiology 2005 Category compiled by YBP Library Services
“Bioluminescence is a hot new subfield of biotechnology…Zimmer explains the science behind this…in a manner accessible to everyone. Even those who fear or avoid science books will enjoy it. In a creative and informal style, with touches of irony and humor, Zimmer easily imparts the sense of excitement displayed by researchers in this area.”
- Science & Theology News
“…an excellent biography of a molecule and a technology…a tale worth telling. It would make a great reference for student researchers, an independent reading assignment, or a source of excerpts with which to enrich biology teaching.”
- NSTA Recommends
"Many countermeasures currently being developed against chemical and biological threats posed by international terrorism rely directly or indirectly upon the discoveries described so elegantly in this book."
- Journal of College Science Teaching
Keith B. Ward, Ph.D., Science Advisor and Program Manager,
Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency,
U. S. Department of Homeland Security
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.
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. He then discusses the biological reasons that glowing proteins first evolved in jellyfish and fireflies, and looks at the history of bioluminescence and the dedicated scientists who devoted their careers to explaining this phenomenon. The story of how “glowing genes” were located, cloned, and then mass-produced is in itself a fascinating tale.
Zimmer next turns to the serious, and not-so-serious, uses of fluorescent proteins. In agriculture it may soon be possible to produce crops that signal dryness by glowing. In industry a red fluorescent protein originally found in corals may find a use in sheep as a substitute for environmentally harmful wool dyes.
Furthermore, the glowing gene revolution has led to significantly more humane treatment of laboratory animals. No longer must animal lives be sacrificed to understand disease processes; now researchers can observe the spread of cancer and infections by treating animals with green fluorescent genes and similar proteins.
In the fight against terrorism a glowing gene has been created that lights up in the presence of anthrax spores, chemical warfare agents, and landmines. And in a completely different arena, we have already seen the emergence of “transgenic art” in Alba, the fluorescent bunny rabbit.
is a highly informative, fascinating, and entertaining read about a burgeoning area of biotechnology that promises soon to revolutionize our world.
Book Binding: Hardcover
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Marc Zimmer, Ph.D., is the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor and professor of chemistry at Connecticut College. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and he has published more than fifty scientific papers, mainly on the topic of bioluminescence.