Books: Skin Deep

THE PATCHWORK MOUSE

by JOSEPH HIXSON

228 pages. Anchor/Doubleday. $7.95.

When a young dermatologist named William Summerlin first reported in 1973 that he had succeeded in transplanting skin from a white man to a black and from one species of mouse to another, immunologists were intrigued. By the spring of 1974, their interest had turned to incredulity. One researcher after another reported an inability to duplicate the transplants. Summerlin, who had moved from the University of Minnesota to New York's Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, found himself under enormous pressure. One March morning, he...

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