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Genetics 101

Overview

What should the average person know about science? Because science is so central to life in the 21st century, science educators and other leaders of the scientific community believe that it is essential that everyone understand the basic concepts of the most vital and far-reaching disciplines. Genetics 101 does exactly that. This accessible volume provides readers - whether students new to the field or just interested members of the lay public - with the essential ideas of genetics using a minimum of jargon and ...

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Overview

What should the average person know about science? Because science is so central to life in the 21st century, science educators and other leaders of the scientific community believe that it is essential that everyone understand the basic concepts of the most vital and far-reaching disciplines. Genetics 101 does exactly that. This accessible volume provides readers - whether students new to the field or just interested members of the lay public - with the essential ideas of genetics using a minimum of jargon and mathematics. Concepts are introduced in a progressive order so that more complicated ideas build on simpler ones, and each is discussed in small, bite-sized segments so that they can be more easily understood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Using simple direct text and by carefully explaining the essential vocabulary of genetics, this volume manages to cover the principal themes comprising genetics….[t]he objective is to provide interested readers with a general idea of the basis of the science of genetics, the key components that make up the hereditary material and how this knowledge is being used to advance our understanding of life. For a reader with a background in basic biology, this serves as a competent resource to give the nonspecialist a summary of the discipline."

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NSTA Recommends

"In this volume meant for students and general readers, Windelsprecht discusses genetics, explaining how scientists determined that traits are coded by the gene. It is meant as a reference source for general information on genetics for those who are not scientists and is therefore, not comprehensive. He begins with a history of genetics before the nineteenth century, details how scientists determined that DNA contains genes, and describes genetic structure. How the gene is studied, molecular genetics, and cloning are discussed in subsequent chapters, followed by mutation and chromosomal abnormalities and recent developments such as gene manipulation and therapy, RNA interference, DNA typing, and work with stem cells."

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SciTech Book News

"While the work of Gregor Mendel in the 19th century focused interest in genetics, implementation of genetics has been in practice (although it didnt have a name) from ancient civilizations when farmers wanted better animals and plants. Genetics, the study of inheritance, is often put to use in a couples predicting the color of eyes their baby might have. Interest also has been increased with the constant reference to DNA in the various CSI adventures on television. The foreword has a list of abbreviations….Black and white drawings and figures illustrate the text. Appendixes include a 10-page glossary and a 5-page bibliography of print and Web resources. Because we find the study of DNA, gene, and genome in science classes, this is an excellent resource. It also will be useful in the debate about cloning, and it will help the reader understand why a prediction about a babys eyes may not be accurate."

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GALE Reference for Students

"This clear, concise book describes basic concepts in genetics from a wide variety of subfields, including classic genetics, molecular biology, and their applications and related techniques….I recommend this volume to anyone without a scientific background who is interested in learning not only the basic jargon of the discipline of genetics, but also how the scientific method works."

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Science Books & Film

"Windelspecht begins this comprehensive overview with the early history of genetics, focusing primarily on the experiments of Gregor Mendel in the 19th century and Thomas Hunt Morgan in the early 20th. Subsequent chapters build on readers increasing understanding of the material, expertly cross-referencing information explained earlier….The title covers hot topics like gene therapy, including the use of viral vectors, enzyme replacement, and germ line therapy; it also discusses DNA fingerprinting and genetic engineering, and briefly touches on stem cells. The black-and-white illustrations are helpful in explaining mathematical concepts or experimental procedures."

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School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up- Windelspecht begins this comprehensive overview with the early history of genetics, focusing primarily on the experiments of Gregor Mendel in the 19th century and Thomas Hunt Morgan in the early 20th. Subsequent chapters build on readers' increasing understanding of the material, expertly cross-referencing information explained earlier. The material is organized chronologically, explaining genetics through the experiments and discoveries of various scientists, illuminating the topic in much the same order as the field has developed. The experiments that have led to our current-day understanding of genetics, including patterns of inheritance and molecular genetics, as well as the application of the science to areas such as cloning are explained in great detail. The title covers hot topics like gene therapy, including the use of viral vectors, enzyme replacement, and germ line therapy; it also discusses DNA fingerprinting and genetic engineering, and briefly touches on stem cells. The black-and-white illustrations are helpful in explaining mathematical concepts or experimental procedures, but offer little in terms of visual relief from the dense text. Although this is written for those with little or no knowledge of genetics, the material is compactly presented and would be a significant challenge for the average teen.-Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313333811
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Science 101
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 839,291
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL WINDELSPECHT is Assistant Professor of Biology at Appalachian State University. He is the author or co-author of numerous works for Greenwood, including The Digestive System and The Lymphatic System in the Human Body Systems series.

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Table of Contents


Series Foreword     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Abbreviations     xv
Introduction     1
Genetics as a Science     7
Corn and Wheat: Birth of Civilization and Genetics     7
Gregor Mendel and Genetics     10
Important Genetic Terms     18
Thomas Hunt Morgan and the Fly Lab     20
Is Inheritance as Simple as Mendel Suggested?     26
Incomplete Dominance     27
Multiple-Allele Systems     28
Gene Interactions     29
DNA as the Hereditary Molecule     31
Griffith and the Transformation of DNA     32
Avery and the Transforming Principle     33
DNA or Protein? The Hershey-Chase Experiments     35
The Structure of DNA     37
Chargaff and Complementation     37
Wilkins, Franklin, and DNA Crystals     39
Pauling and Proteins     40
Watson and Crick Unveil the Double Helix     41
Meselson, Stahl, and DNA Replication     44
DNA versus RNA     47
Genetics at the Molecular Level     51
Molecular Mechanism of DNA Replication     51
One-Gene, One-Enzyme     54
Structure of a Gene     57
Transcription     60
RNA Editing     63
The Genetic Code     65
Translation     67
Protein Structure     71
Turning Genes On and Off     74
Studying the Gene     77
Restriction Endonucleases     77
Gel Electrophoresis     79
Cloning     83
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)     85
DNA Libraries     88
Southern Blotting     90
DNA Sequencing     91
DNA Microarrays     94
Molecular Markers     95
Genetic Maps     98
Changes to the Genetic Material     101
Chromosome Structure     101
Observing Chromosomes     105
Changes in Chromosome Structure     107
Changes in Chromosome Number     111
Types of Mutations     114
Agents of Mutation     116
Transposons-The "Jumping Genes"     120
Manipulating the Gene and Genome     125
Recombinant DNA     125
Transgenic Plants and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)     127
Gene Therapy     130
Knock-Out Mouse     134
RNA Interference     137
Site-Directed Mutagenesis     140
Applications of Genetics     143
Population Genetics     143
DNA Fingerprinting     147
Cancer Genetics     149
Behavioral Genetics     152
Quantitative Genetics     158
Genetics of Complex Diseases     164
Schizophrenia     164
Narcolepsy     166
Diabetes     157
Retinitis Pigmentosa     169
Glossary     173
References and Resources     183
Print     183
Web     184
Index     189
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