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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Luis F. Escobar, MD, MS (St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center)
Description: Epigenetics is a relatively new concept that has faced some neglect from the medical community. However, rapid advances in technology have placed this fascinating and important area of genomics in the forefront. Epigenetics explains mechanisms of disease in humans that previously could not be completely explained by traditional genetics concepts. Wonderfully designed and full of provocative subjects, this book is written by a good number of experts on transgenerational epigenetics.
Purpose: The intent is to expose and review the vast amount of information on epigenetics, which is difficult to find in detail in other books. This book is the first to be devoted in its entirety to transgenerational epigenetics. The authors have done a good job providing information that it is usually intimidating to clinicians.
Audience: This book is of use to all individuals interested in gene expression and the influence of the environment on gene behavior. It is of extreme importance for medical genetics specialists who seek further understanding of the etiology of genetics disorders, and it provides information to aid the in understanding of diagnostic genomic results. In addition, teachers of genetics may find this book useful for incorporating epigenetic information into high school, undergraduate, and graduate level courses.
Features: The 11 chapters cover topics from basic concepts and definitions to current controversies in epigenetics. Topics have been carefully selected and the book appears to be all inclusive. Early chapters cover basic concepts in generational epigenetics, but the book quickly delves deeper, reviewing concepts such as the emergence of phenotypic novelties during evolution by inheritance of epigenome variants across generations. The final chapter presents provocative and stimulating information about current controversies in generational epigenetic inheritance. The illustrations are appropriate and well designed.
Assessment: Usually epigenetics is covered in a chapter in books on human genetics. This book is unique in its focus solely on this subject. This is an area destined to become extremely important in the practice of human and medical genetics. This book is without comparison.