Fatal Flaws

Fatal Flaws

How A Misfolded Protein Baffled Scientists and Changed the Way We Look at the Brain

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Most people have never heard of prions. Indeed, most are only barely aware of the diseases caused by them, except, perhaps, for mad cow disease. Yet prions are the stuff of a revolutionary science--a science that might lead to cures for some of humankind's most devastating diseases.

Fatal Flaws is a scientific detective story about this elusive protein, starting with the discovery of kuru, a disease unique to New Guinea in the 1950s that baffled scientists and carried with it whispers of cannibalism. Kuru began a scientific stampede to seek out the agent of this mysterious disease--the prion--a misfolded protein whose existence some of the world's top scientists still find difficult to accept. Today, the subject of prions remains controversial, yet the proteins might promise new treatments for some of the most intractable brain diseases, ones that affect millions around the planet, including Parkinson's, ALS and Alzheimer's.

In Fatal Flaws, Jay Ingram unties a complicated interweaving of biology, medicine, human tragedy, surprise and disbelief in the world of prions, and he unravels some of history's most stunning revelations about disease, the brain and infection.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2012.
ISBN: 9781443412124
Characteristics: 260 p. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Donald W Mayfield
Sep 26, 2017

It is a good read and a companion to _Introduction to Protein Science_ by Arthur M. Lesk. I does in words what Lesk's book does in pictures, some in 3D.

Feb 20, 2014

I could not put this book down. loved it

Sep 27, 2012

It's true, you'll never look at hamburger with dewy-eyed innocence again. Good thing I love chicken, fish, beans, lamb, pork, etc. At least till the next horror hits.

Jul 19, 2012

A must read, you will never look at your hamburger in the same way. Jay Ingram provides a very good read on a complex subject even for a non scientist. The actions of the British government on the BSE episode is absolutely shameful. One wonders what our own government is hiding with the muzzle they have put on the Health Canada scientists.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top