Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Guest Post from V.W. Raynes, author of Twisted Venom








Title: Twisted Venom
Author: V. W. Raynes
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Format: Ebook

When young internist Claudia Ranelli attends a medical conference in San Francisco, she has a sexual encounter so bizarre and frightful it nearly kills her. But that isn't the end of her terror. Claudia and her cousin Dru Salinas must discover the identity of the person terrorizing them both, a quest that leads from pit vipers to modern genetics. Claudia tells a gripping story with sensitivity, a humanly scientific perspective, eroticism and a wry sense of humor.



New Blue Genes

What happens when genes change (mutate)? Sometimes not good things, obviously.
That is the premise of TWISTED VENOM. The story is written and reviewed as a medical thriller,
but where does the fiction end, and where do the facts begin?
As I mention at the end of the book, the gene mutation in the story is real, discovered and studied
extensively since the late 1970's, about when my character Dr. Kral becomes enthralled with it. If you've had cancer or know someone who does, the TP53 mutation may well have been tested for. The TP53 gene is responsible for making the p53 protein; the protein, which has sometimes been called the "guardian of the genome," helps to prevent cells with damaged DNA from growing and becoming cancerous or to repair damaged cellular DNA. A mutation in the TP53 gene may lead to the formation of a protein that cannot function properly, allowing damaged cells to proliferate and form tumors. If you're not impressed with the "Man of the Year" awards, look up Science Magazine's "Molecule of the Year Awards," (now known as "Breakthrough of the Year"), an award won by the p53 protein in 1993. Of course, there are now numerous web sites and conferences devoted to TP53. For example, check out Genetics Home Reference
@ghr.nlm.nih.gov, and look up TP53.
DNA damage can result from some of the usual culprits... tobacco, UV light, radiation exposure,
to name some. In TWISTED VENOM, I've used a somewhat novel mechanism for DNA damage in order to enhance the story; on the other hand, more mechanisms than we currently know about will surely be discovered....

Research on finding compounds that will restore a non-functional p53 protein to a functional
protein are ongoing and fascinating, including recent work at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. [1]
Unfortunately, reality is a little slower than fiction.

1. Yu X, Vazquez A, Levine A J, Carpizo D R: Allele-Specific p53 Mutant Reactivation. Cancer Cell 21
(5): 614-625, 2012.


V. W. Raynes is the pen name of a physician practiciing in Texas

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