A bright young star on the medical school faculty, Jason Pearce worries that he'll lose NIH funding as his basic research falters. He signs a contract with a venture capital company that enables him to embark on a study of mice whose memory fails as they age. He discovers that their forgetfulness is due to a defective memory gene; that the loss can be prevented by injecting young mice with the normal memory gene; and that the same type of gene defect increases the risk of Alzheimer's Disease. With approval of his medical school's ethics review board, he launches a randomized clinical trial to see if injection of a normal human memory gene can prevent Alzheimer's Disease. Betsy Matthews, a middle-aged African-American, develops leukemia a year after she receives the injection. A colleague of Jason's discovers that the injected memory gene triggered Betsy's leukemia. Nobody suspects negligence until Janice Polk, a young investigative reporter, asks a question that others had failed to ask. The answer shatters Jason and his family, his medical school, and the venture capital company.

Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Cloudsplitter Press
Publish Date
August 16, 2016
5.25 X 0.82 X 8.0 inches | 0.92 pounds
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About the Author

Emeritus Professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (since 2001). Previously Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Genetics and Public Policy Studies, and core faculty of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine. with appointments in the Departments of Health Policy and Epidemiology in the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Member, NIH-DOE Working Group on Ethical, Legal, Social, Implications of the Human Genome Project (1993-1997); Co-Chair, NIH-DOE Task Force on Genetic Testing(1995-1997) Member, Committee on Assessing Genetic Risks, Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) (1991-93); Senior Analyst, Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (1986-1987, on leave from Johns Hopkins;) Senior Analyst, Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (on leave from Johns Hopkins); Chairman, Committee on Genetics, American Academy of Pediatrics (1983-1987); Secretary, American Society of Human Genetics (1983-1988); Research grants from NIH 1968-2001


Blurbs from Backcover Blame brings to life the Faustian bargain that many academic scientists face between their ethical ideals and research goals. A young scientist's insidious descent into moral myopia and his painful redemption are made chilling by the recognizable elements of scientific life today that propel it. Blame should be a primer for incoming graduate students in the life sciences everywhere. --Eric Juengst, Director, Center for Bioethics, Professor in the Departments of Genetics and Social Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Readers who were riveted by The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will be drawn in by Blame. When an African-American woman is fatally harmed in a modern day research project, Tony Holtzman's scorchingly realistic novel asks, who is responsible when today's scientists put profits before patients? --Lori Andrews, former chair of the Human Genome Project's Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Working Group and author of the Alexandra Blake mystery series. Blame is an apt title for this page-turner. Although fictional, it is authentic because of previous and current instances in which preventable harm has been done to human experimental subjects because of the too-often unchallenged zeal of those promoting or passing judgment on such experiments. The novel frighteningly comports with reality. --Sidney Wolfe, M.D. Founder, Public Citizen's Health Research Group and author of Worst Pills, Best Pills So long as human beings are curious, so long as we all want to live longer and better lives, the kind of scientific investigation that unravels in Blame will exist, and the ethical conduct of investigations will remain a persistent question on the table. --Lynn Stegner, author of For All the Obvious Reasons