Genes and DNA: A Beginner's Guide to Genetics and Its Applications

Genes and DNA: A Beginner's Guide to Genetics and Its Applications

Genes and DNA: A Beginner's Guide to Genetics and Its Applications

Genes and DNA: A Beginner's Guide to Genetics and Its Applications

Synopsis

Covering newsworthy aspects of contemporary biology -- gene therapy, the Human Genome Project, DNA testing, and genetic engineering -- as well as fundamental concepts, this book, written specifically for nonbiologists, discusses classical and molecular genetics, quantitative and population genetics -- including cloning and genetic diseases -- and the many applications of genetics to the world around us, from genetically modified foods to genetic testing.

With minimal technical terminology and jargon, Genes and DNA facilitates conceptual understanding. Eschewing the organization of traditional genetics texts, the authors have provided an organic progression of information: topics are introduced as needed, within a broader framework that makes them meaningful for nonbiologists. The book encourages the reader to think independently, always stressing scientific background and current facts.

Excerpt

Perhaps you've heard the media use the terms [cloning,] [genetically modified organisms,] [DNA fingerprinting,] and [genetic testing.] But have you ever discovered what these terms really mean? Our goal is to help you to become more familiar with words like these. We will provide you with clear and straightforward genetic principles that are relevant to your everyday life and help you understand the many applications of modern genetic techniques.

Genetics is one of the greatest adventures in science. This book will help you explore everything from the foundations of genetics, a little over a century ago, to modern genetic applications, including the genetic engineering of plant products that you probably eat on a regular basis. You will learn about medical, legal, and ethical aspects of genetics, as well as the impact of genetics on our society; this impact is mind-boggling. For example, as little as fifteen years ago, it was unthinkable that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) would play any role in the prosecution and conviction of criminals. The use of DNA testing is now routine, and many people suggest that DNA testing should be made available for cases that came to trial before this technology was available. Likewise, paternity suits often ended up in mistrials because incontrovertible evidence could not be obtained when only simple . . .

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