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From The CriticsReviewer: Luis F. Escobar, MD, MS (St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center)
Description: This is a detailed compilation of genetic information, describing n basic terms and simple language rare conditions as well as common disorders of genetic origin. The simplicity of the text and figures makes this an easy to read source of medical information. The alphabetical organization of the content makes the review of material easy. This second edition is a significant improvement over the first edition of this wonderful source of genetic information.
Purpose: The encyclopedia is designed as a source of information for the lay person. It fills the gap between basic health textbooks, medical guides, and the highly technical professional materials. The advisory board has met its goals completely. While providing detailed information, the book is and easy to read text that can be used by a variety of individuals not involved in the medical field. It can be used by patients or other professionals in need of complete information on genetic disorders without the technical details.
Audience: Written by geneticists, the encyclopedia is an accurate compilation of genetic information that represents broad coverage of the most common conditions and definitions seen in the field of medical genetics. Each entry is an in-depth review, but because of the simplicity of the language, the book can be used by the general public, high school students, undergraduate students in search of basic information, and genetic professionals in search of understandable material at the patient level. The advisory board represents a group of recognized, credible authorities in the field.
Features: The 430 entries are alphabetically arranged with coverage of the most common conditions seen in the field. The encyclopedia provides information about diagnosis, treatment, and natural history of each condition. It is comprehensive but as the authors indicate, "not definitive" due to the constant changes in the field of genetics. Each entry is organized into specific areas including: definition, description, genetic profile, demographics, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and resources. A wonderful tool in each entry is the Key Terms section. This is presented with a different color background and directs the reader to information that is essential for the understanding of each section. The figures and art work are simple and easy to understand without significant effort.
Assessment: This is an excellent and high quality publication. It's the first publication I've seen that brings the highly complicated field of medical genetics to the consumer level. It is easy to read, with a very attractive format. Updates of this wondeful publication will be needed in the future. This second edition was overdue and represents a tremendous contribution to the understanding of medical genetics for the general population.