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50 Genetics Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) Hardcover – 2 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847246710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847246714
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Are our personalities inherited or made? What can DNA reveal about human history? How significant was the creation of Dolly the sheep? And will we soon be designing babies to order? Mark Henderson, science editor of The Times, distils the central concepts of this newest of sciences in a series of 50 lucid and engaging short essays. Beginning with Darwin's theory of evolution and concluding with the most recent, and controversial, scientific advances, he shows how knowledge of our genetic code has changed our understanding of life on Earth. Full of everyday examples, enlightening quotations and helpful diagrams, 50 Genetics Ideas: Tells us how life came to be the way it is, unlocking the secrets of chromosomes, DNA and the human genome; Explains how our individuality if forged, be it through nature or nurture; Reveals how genetics can help the fight against cancer, HIV, malaria and superbugs; Explores the major ethical issues around divisive topics such as stem cell research, cloning and the potential for artificial life; Illuminates the very latest thinking on junk DNA, evo-devo and epigenetics, and points towards what the future might hold for the human race. Accessible, informative and utterly fascinating, 50 Genetics Ideas is both a timely overview of this ground-breaking strand of science and an essential insight into what makes each one of us truly unique.

From the Back Cover

The theory of evolution; The laws of inheritance; Genes and chromosomes; The genetics of evolution; Mutation; Sex; Genes, proteins and DNA; The double helix; Cracking the code of life; Genetic engineering; Reading the genome; The human genome; Lessons of the genome; Genetic determinism; Selfish genes; The blank slate; Nature via nurture; Genetic diseases; Gene hunting; Cancer; Superbugs; Behavioural genetics; Intelligence; Race; Genetic history; Genetic genealogy; Sex genes; The end of men?; The battle of the sexes; Homosexuality; Genetic fingerprinting; GM crops; GM animals; Evo-devo; Stem cells; Cloning; Cloning people; Gene therapy; Genetic testing; Tailor-made medicines; Designer babies; Brave new worlds; Genes and insurance; Gene patenting; Junk DNA; Copy number variation; Epigenetics; The RNA revolution; Artificial life; No such thing as normal.


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Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Hanson on 1 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Well written in a quickly digestible form. Should appeal to those whose knowledge of genetics has not kept pace over the years and to lay people. Good value for money and merits its title.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Edward Vallance on 24 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
If there's a gene for writing great popular science books, Mark Henderson must have it. Fans of his Times column will not be disappointed by this snappy and informative book. Henderson cuts through the pseudo-science surrounding genetics to deliver clear, sane and highly readable insights into what is today possibly the most cutting-edge field of scientific endeavour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. A. Peden on 30 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having unsuccessfully tried to read, many genetic books, where the author "makes no apology" for the Latin biological verbiage that obscures any understanding of the subject, I was taken aback by the simplicity and elegance of the language of this book!

This book answered many questions:
1: My brother has the same parental DNA as me , why then, are we not identical?

2: Why are only 20 proteins coded from the 64 combinations available from four bits?

3: Why SEX ? all that sweat....for what?

4: If Mendel's pea genes program for discrete colour or height, why are we not graded into discrete sets by height , or personality?

Great wee book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brutus on 3 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the 1st of the "50" series I've read. Since then I've bought many more. Its a great read, a book where everytime I'd read a chapter I'd think, just one more before bed! If you have any interest in this area, even casual, I'd highly recommend you read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen patricia on 13 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is written by a professional science reporter and is very well laid out with simple explanations, summaries of key ideas, adequate repetition of information for the layman and a useful glossary. In short I can't fault it as an introduction and perhaps more to the key ideas in the rapidly expanding field of genetics
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman on 23 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of book I read to learn basic things about a subject I do not know much about. When it is a scientific subject as with this book I often gain only partial understanding and generally address only those areas of interest to me. This book seems to me a respectable introductory work. I had long worried about human cloning but this book suggests that the practical difficulties along with the moral objections mean it is not going to move ahead in a real way in the foreseeable future. The book also dispels simplistic single gene to trait theories and provides a more complex understanding of how gene interactions operate. It is written in a clear and interesting way.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr L. Fyfield on 8 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book written for the layman about a difficult subject in terms that are understandable but not patronising. Some scientists and those in the medical profession would find it useful too!
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By philip Smart on 7 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome, everything you wanted to know in very reasonable sections. This is the book I've been searching for, explains everything without a need for another source.
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