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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Studies on the genetic contributions to human behavior and disease have been invaluable in sorting out hereditary components, biological versus social constructs, and the interactions between genes and other factors. This book provides a guide to methodologies and technologies available to maximize research in this field.
Purpose: Arising from the 2005 Workshops on Methodology for Twin and Family Studies, this book concatenates the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) in the areas of behavioral genetics and genetic epidemiology.
Audience: The book is aimed at researchers and graduate students in the field of behavioral genetics and related fields, such as public health, psychology, sociology, biology, and medicine. It is written at a fairly advanced level that assumes familiarity with genetics, SEM, and associated computer programs. The editors are a young group of promising scholars backed by a notable level of senior faculty contributing to the chapters.
Features: For readers new to this field, the book starts with an introduction to genetics and other concepts of importance, such as statistical power. Each chapter builds upon the last, so that novice readers would be well advised to read the book from beginning to end. More advanced readers will probably be able to skip ahead to chapters of specific interest. A short introduction to each chapter is enough to gauge whether further reading is of interest. Both linkage analysis and association models are covered in depth. There is a chapter specific to learning PLINK with sample Unix commands and binary files. For users of Haploview, there is a discussion of this program, screen shots, and specific tips for running linkage disequilibrium analysis and tagging. The two chapters on Power and Type I Error in linkage and association studies are a nice addition. Plenty of figures and tables supplement the text. The references are well researched and current, but the index is somewhat abbreviated for a book of this size.
Assessment: This is a commendable account of statistical genetics, particularly in relation to linkage analysis and association models. While the subject matter is rather specific and presented at an intermediate to advanced level, students and researchers in this field will find it abundantly useful.