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Sue Armstrong - Author

About the Author

Sue Armstrong is a science writer and broadcaster based in Edinburgh. She has worked for a variety of media organisations, including New Scientist, and since the 1980s has undertaken regular assignments for the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, writing about women's health issues and the AIDS pandemic, among many other topics, and reporting from the frontline in countries as diverse as Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Thailand, Namibia and Serbia. Sue has been involved, as presenter, writer and researcher, in several major medical documentaries for BBC Radio 4.

Featured books by Sue Armstrong

P53 The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code

P53 The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

All of us have lurking in our DNA a most remarkable gene. Its job is straightforward - to protect us from cancer. This gene - known simply as p53 - constantly scans our cells to ensure that they grow and divide without mishap, as part of the routine maintenance of our bodies. If a cell makes a mistake in copying its DNA as part of its process of division, p53 stops it in its tracks, sending in the repair team before allowing the cell to carry on dividing. If the mistake is irreparable and the rogue cell threatens to grow out of control (as happens in cancer), p53 commands the cell to commit suicide. Cancer cannot develop unless p53 itself is damaged and malfunctioning. Not surprisingly, p53 is the most studied gene in history. This enormously important gene has teased the minds of some of the most colourful and ambitious scientists around the world. These characters populate Sue Armstrong's book p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code, the story of medical science's mission to unravel the mysteries of this gene and to get to the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code reveals the tale of the search for this gene, as well as the excitement of the hunt for new cures - the hype, the lost opportunities, the blind alleys and the thrilling breakthroughs. As the long-anticipated revolution in cancer treatment tailored to each individual patient's symptoms starts to take off at last, p53 is still at the forefront of the game. This is a timely tale of scientific discovery and advances in our understanding of a disease that still affects more than one in three of us at some point in our lives.

Other books by Sue Armstrong

Borrowed Time The Science of How and Why We Age

Borrowed Time The Science of How and Why We Age

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/01/2019

As featured on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week 'A rich, timely study for the era of global ageing ' Nature The ageing of the world population is one of the most important issues facing humanity in the 21st century - up there with climate change in its potential global impact. Sometime before 2020, the number of people over 65 worldwide will, for the first time, be greater than the number of 0-4 year olds, and it will keep on rising. The strains this is causing on society are already evident as health and social services everywhere struggle to cope with the care needs of the elderly. But why and how do we age? Scientists have been asking this question for centuries, yet there is still no agreement. There are a myriad competing theories, from the idea that our bodies simply wear out with the rough and tumble of living, like well-worn shoes or a rusting car, to the belief that ageing and death are genetically programmed and controlled. In Borrowed Time, Sue Armstrong tells the story of science's quest to understand ageing and to prevent or delay the crippling conditions so often associated with old age. She focusses inward - on what is going on in our bodies at the most basic level of the cells and genes as the years pass - to look for answers to why and how our skin wrinkles with age, our wounds take much longer to heal than they did when we were kids, and why words escape us at crucial moments in conversation.This book explores these questions and many others through interviews with key scientists in the field of gerontology and with people who have interesting and important stories to tell about their personal experiences of ageing.

Borrowed Time The Science of How and Why We Age

Borrowed Time The Science of How and Why We Age

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/01/2019

As featured on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week 'A rich, timely study for the era of global ageing ' Nature The ageing of the world population is one of the most important issues facing humanity in the 21st century - up there with climate change in its potential global impact. Sometime before 2020, the number of people over 65 worldwide will, for the first time, be greater than the number of 0-4 year olds, and it will keep on rising. The strains this is causing on society are already evident as health and social services everywhere struggle to cope with the care needs of the elderly. But why and how do we age? Scientists have been asking this question for centuries, yet there is still no agreement. There are a myriad competing theories, from the idea that our bodies simply wear out with the rough and tumble of living, like well-worn shoes or a rusting car, to the belief that ageing and death are genetically programmed and controlled. In Borrowed Time, Sue Armstrong tells the story of science's quest to understand ageing and to prevent or delay the crippling conditions so often associated with old age. She focusses inward - on what is going on in our bodies at the most basic level of the cells and genes as the years pass - to look for answers to why and how our skin wrinkles with age, our wounds take much longer to heal than they did when we were kids, and why words escape us at crucial moments in conversation.This book explores these questions and many others through interviews with key scientists in the field of gerontology and with people who have interesting and important stories to tell about their personal experiences of ageing.

p53 The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code

p53 The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2015

All of us have lurking in our DNA a most remarkable gene, which has a crucial job - it protects us from cancer. Known simply as p53, this gene constantly scans our cells to ensure that they grow and divide without mishap, as part of the routine maintenance of our bodies. If a cell makes a mistake in copying its DNA during the process of division, p53 stops it in its tracks, summoning a repair team before allowing the cell to carry on dividing. If the mistake is irreparable and the rogue cell threatens to grow out of control, p53 commands the cell to commit suicide. Cancer cannot develop unless p53 itself is damaged or prevented from functioning normally. Perhaps unsurprisingly, p53 is the most studied single gene in history. This book tells the story of medical science's mission to unravel the mysteries of this crucial gene, and to get to the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. Through the personal accounts of key researchers, p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code reveals the fascination of the quest for scientific understanding, as well as the huge excitement of the chase for new cures - the hype, the enthusiasm, the lost opportunities, the blind alleys, and the thrilling breakthroughs. And as the long-anticipated revolution in cancer treatment tailored to each individual patient's symptoms begins to take off at last, p53 remains at the cutting edge. This timely tale of scientific discovery highlights the tremendous recent advances made in our understanding of cancer, a disease that affects more than one in three of us at some point in our lives.

A Matter of Life and Death Inside the Hidden World of the Pathologist

A Matter of Life and Death Inside the Hidden World of the Pathologist

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/04/2010

A Matter of Life and Death profiles some of the world's most eminent and pioneering pathologists. This is a hidden world, yet one we will all inevitably encounter at some time in our lives, for pathology lies at the cornerstone of modern medicine. It is pathologists who are responsible for recognising new diseases such as AIDS, SARS or bird flu, and for diagnosing which cancer a patient is suffering from. And it is pathologists who must explain the cause of death at the autopsy table. A Matter of Life and Death tells fascinating stories of mysterious illnesses and miraculous scientific breakthroughs. But it is also crammed full of extraordinary characters - from the forensic anthropologist with his own Body Farm in Tennessee to the doctor who had a heart-and-lung transplant and ended up using her own lungs for research.

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