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Genes: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition

Jonathan Slack

April 2023

ISBN: 9780192856708

160 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

In this Very Short Introduction to the gene Jonathan Slack explores the discovery, nature, and role of genes in evolution and development. Looking at how genes are understood as a concept, the nature of genetic variation, and how their mutation can lead to disease, this is an ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how they work.

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Description

In this Very Short Introduction to the gene Jonathan Slack explores the discovery, nature, and role of genes in evolution and development. Looking at how genes are understood as a concept, the nature of genetic variation, and how their mutation can lead to disease, this is an ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how they work.

  • Explains the background to the first concept of the gene
  • Looks at the nature of genetic variation in human populations
  • Explains how DNA can be used to trace human ancestry and migration throughout history
  • Considers the use of genetics in forensic science
  • Discusses some of the controversial issues surrounding the use of genes in various contexts
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

New to this edition

  • New edition includes new and updated topics such as the CRISPR method for targeted genetic modification of organisms, using "gene drives" to modify whole populations, discussion of the possibility to identify aspects of personal appearance from DNA samples, updated information on human ancestry using recent studies on ancient DNA, discussion of personal genetic ancestry testing, and discussion of increasingly large genome wide association studies (GWAS), and the generation of medical risk profiles from the genome
  • Content on molecular biology has been reworked to improve accessibility
  • Updated reading list
  • Addition of a Glossary, covering all technical terms used in the book

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Slack, Emeritus Professor, University of Bath, UK & University of Minnesota, USA

Jonathan Slack studied at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities. His specialities are embryonic development and stem cell biology. While working for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund he discovered the first inducing factor controlling embryonic development. He was Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath from 2000-2006 and Director of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota from 2007-2012. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), was awarded the Waddington Medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology in 2002 and elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2004. He is author of Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction (2021, OUP).

Table of Contents

    Preface
    List of illustrations
    1:Genes before 1944
    2:Genes as DNA
    3:Mutations and gene variants
    4:Genes as markers
    5:Genes of small effect
    6:Genes in evolution
    Conclusion: the varied concepts of the gene
    Further reading
    Glossary
    Index

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