Racing to the Beginning of the Road

Robert Weinberg. Random House, New York, 1996.

If ever a book about modern research was right from the horse’s mouth, this is the book. Robert Weinberg is head of the cancer lab at MIT’s renowned Whitehead Institute, and one of the world’s leading cancer re-searchers. His position as one of the inner circle of scientists competing to solve the mystery of cancer’s origin gives him a perspective that is unmatched by any science writer — he is really DOING it, at the cutting edge. One of the unexpected pleasures of this book is that Weinberg proves to be an excellent writer, so that his book is fun as well as enlight-ening. He recounts the story of how we came to understand the molecular mechanism of cancer, focusing on the revolutionary discovery of protooncogenes (mutations which accelerate cell proliferation), and the discovery of tumor suppressor genes (mutations which destroy breaks on cell proliferation), two discoveries in which he played a major role.

Dr. George Johnson