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Ildiko Toth, PhD

Lab Manager/Associate Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute (Harvard Medical Center Affiliate)

REVIEW

Dr. Hanan Polansky's, Microcompetition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease is a fascinating work. The book presents a unifying theory that identifies the origin of several chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, thyroiditis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and alopecia. The author builds the theory on 1224 cited publications: empirical papers written by over 5000 researchers working on the fields of wide varieties of chronic diseases. From the huge amount of scientific observations, Dr. Polansky draws a very challenging conclusion. The book is well-researched and well-written, in spite of the numerous mathematical models and lack of background information that would increase the volume of the book significantly. Therefore, one has to have relatively solid knowledge in related fields to fully appreciate the work.

The theory is unique and inspires us to look at scientific data from a completely different prospective. I liked the chapter about obesity (a very serious problem in the USA) best. The microcompetition model of obesity provides a revolutionary and novel explanation of previously unexplained observations reported in the literature. These include decreased expression of hormone sensitive lipase, hypertrophy, and hyperplasia of adyposites, catecholamine resistance, insulin resistance, leptine resistance, hyperinsulinemia, hyperletinemia, the high level of serum zink and copper, and the high level of serum estradiol in obesity, and the effectiveness of IL-1beta and TNFalpha and LPS in attenuating symptoms of obesity in animal models and in humans.

I read the book in different intervals. There were chapters that I returned to and sections (mostly mathematical models) that I did not follow in-depth. In summary, this is an intellectually challenging book that I warmly recommend to medical and graduate students. It could also profoundly affect the biotech and pharmaceutical industry focusing on rational drug design efforts.

I was honored to be one of the reviewers of Dr. Polansky's book, Microcompetition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease. This is an extremely challenging and stimulating book to read and accept. I want to congratulate Dr. Polansky for his novel work that deepens our understanding of the origin of chronic diseases.

BIOGRAPHY

Ildiko Toth, PhD is a Lab Manager/Associate Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston. She graduated from Attila Jozsef University in Szeged, Hungary as a Biology major and received her PhD in Biochemistry, studying membrane-bound enzymes. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Genetics & Molecular Biology at Harvard University in Boston, where she identified a novel enzyme complex and studied the regulation of the corresponding genes. After completing her training, she joined BioTechnica International, Inc., an agricultural biotech company in Cambridge, where she initiated a new project to transform crops using particle gun and DNA imbibition methods that resulted in patents. After BioTechnica International, Inc. ceased to exist, she continued her research at Tufts School of Medicine, then at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Toth studied the effect of vitamin C, hypoxia and gallium on cellular iron homeostasis and worked out several cell model systems to study Cideroblastic anemia, bladder cancer using erythroleukemia, hepatoma and different cancer cell lines. She has several publications in EMBO Journal and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, book chapters, patents, and laboratory manuals. She has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings and has organized several events.

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