Genetic Twists of Fate

Genetic Twists of Fate

by Stanley Fields, Mark Johnston
     
 

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News stories report almost daily on the remarkable progress scientists are making in unraveling the genetic basis of disease and behavior. Meanwhile, new technologies are rapidly reducing the cost of reading someone's personal DNA (all six billion letters of it). Within the next ten years, hospitals may present parents with their newborn's complete DNA code along with

Overview

News stories report almost daily on the remarkable progress scientists are making in unraveling the genetic basis of disease and behavior. Meanwhile, new technologies are rapidly reducing the cost of reading someone's personal DNA (all six billion letters of it). Within the next ten years, hospitals may present parents with their newborn's complete DNA code along with her footprints and APGAR score. In Genetic Twists of Fate, distinguished geneticists Stanley Fields and Mark Johnston help us make sense of the genetic revolution that is upon us. Fields and Johnston tell real life stories that hinge on the inheritance of one tiny change rather than another in an individual's DNA: a mother wrongly accused of poisoning her young son when the true killer was a genetic disorder; the screen siren who could no longer remember her lines because of Alzheimer's disease; and the president who was treated with rat poison to prevent another heart attack. In an engaging and accessible style, Fields and Johnston explain what our personal DNA code is, how a few differences in its long list of DNA letters makes each of us unique, and how that code influences our appearance, our behavior, and our risk for such common diseases as diabetes or cancer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fields and Johnston succeed in providing an accessible text that may appeal to the general public, and that is both enlightening and entertaining." — Anthony J. Dellureficio, The Quarterly Review of Biology
The Quarterly Review of Biology - Anthony J. Dellureficio
Fields and Johnston succeed in providing an accessible text that may appeal to the general public, and that is both enlightening and entertaining.

Library Journal
The sequencing of the human genome has led to research that sometimes suggests that the cure for a disease is imminent because the gene that causes it has been found. The reality is not quite that simple, so it is good that this new book geared to the general public takes a realistic look at what we know about genetics and how it relates to medicine. Fields (genome sciences and medicine, Univ. of Washington) and Johnston (chair of biochemistry and molecular genetics, Univ. of Colorado School of Medicine) have written an engaging text that uses case studies and stories of famous people to illustrate genetic principles and progress in treating diseases such as diabetes, phenylketonuria, Huntington's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's), and Alzheimer's. The ethics of how we use genetic knowledge is also considered. VERDICT Recommended for public and university libraries with consumer health collections and readers looking for straight information.—Margaret Henderson, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Lib., Richmond

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262289009
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
09/24/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
2 MB

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What People are saying about this

Dame Kay Davies
This book is written in a very approachable style for the layperson wanting to know why there is so much interest in our genes. It provides a very accessible introduction to genetics and explains with well-chosen examples how genetics will affect our lives and its potential for benefit in the future.

From the Publisher
"Fields and Johnston offer a wild and colorful ride through genetics,popular culture, and medicine. Where else can one learn about a murder trial, a Wimbledon final, Rita Hayworth, and gain-of function mutations? A lively, engaging read." — Alexander Johnson, University of California, San Francisco

"For readers who seek a lucid and demystifying introduction to the complexities of human molecular genetics, this new entry by Fields and Johnston should go to the top of the list. The writing is graceful and the basic concepts are presented in an engaging style." — Troy Duster, Silver Professor of Sociology, New York University

"This book is written in a very approachable style for the layperson wanting to know why there is so much interest in our genes. It provides a very accessible introduction to genetics and explains with well-chosen examples how genetics will affect our lives and its potential for benefit in the future." — Dame Kay Davies, Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy and director, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford

"With personal genetics kits now available online (and perhaps coming soon to your neighborhood drugstore), with Congress voting against genetic discrimination, and with genetics now influencing our therapies, we really need a book that engages the public in the genetics debate and gives scientists a handy companion in this vital dialogue. The signature personal stories in this book provide a remarkably fresh, engaging, and memorable experience." — George M. Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School,and founder, Personal Genome Project

Alexander Johnson
Fields and Johnston offer a wild and colorful ride through genetics,popular culture, and medicine. Where else can one learn about a murder trial, a Wimbledon final, Rita Hayworth, and gain-of function mutations? A lively, engaging read.

George M. Church
With personal genetics kits now available online (and perhaps coming soon to your neighborhood drugstore), with Congress voting against genetic discrimination, and with genetics now influencing our therapies, we really need a book that engages the public in the genetics debate and gives scientists a handy companion in this vital dialogue. The signature personal stories in this book provide a remarkably fresh, engaging, and memorable experience.

Troy Duster
For readers who seek a lucid and demystifying introduction to the complexities of human molecular genetics, this new entry by Fields and Johnston should go to the top of the list. The writing is graceful and the basic concepts are presented in an engaging style.

Meet the Author

Mark Johnston is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics.

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