In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. Explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution.
An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For as long as humans have been occupied with agriculture and raising of cattle, concern with selecting the best crops and the best farm animals has been an important intellectual topic. However, only with the work of Gregor Mendel in the late nineteenth century have we started to get a better quantitative picture of how heritability really works. Remarkably enough, most of the deep insights that Mendel came up with have survived subsequent major revolutions in our understanding of molecular nature of inheritance.
This little book aims to cover all of the major topics in the study of genes and genetics. It has a short historical preamble which is followed by the attempt to give the best definition of what genes are. The book deals in some detail with the biochemistry of cells and cellular development. It also goes into some detail to cover the human genetics, and human pathologies that have genetic component in particular. It contains a lot of interesting information in its...
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