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5 Books About Genetics You Need To Read

Genetics is a constantly changing field in which important new discoveries are made all the time. The underlying foundations of genetics however remain the same. With the right reading material,  getting to grips with the fundamentals puts you one step closer to one day making important discoveries of your own. whether your goal is to do some summer pre-reading for a class you’re planning on taking or you simply want to satisfy a genuine interest in genetics, these 5 books are a sure-fire way of doing just that.

1. Genetics: Analysis and Principles by Brooker

The Brooker textbook has become a gold standard when it comes to studying genetics. It encompasses a vast array of topic, from translation of mRNA, to the genetics of viruses. The textbook has been praised for its readability and clear presentation of information, as well as its heavy utilization of images to supplement proper understanding of core genetic principles. A must have for any aspiring geneticists!

2. From Genes to Genomes

From genes to genomes is a book aimed at individuals looking for material that covers traditional genetics, but also explores more contemporary and present-day topics such as transgenics which is the study of altering an organism’s genome to produce a new phenotype. The aim of the author (Jeremy W. Dale) was to cover topics in a relatively succinct manner, and not to drown readers with exhaustive and overly in-depth information.

3. Molecular Genetics of Bacteria

There are many fields of genetics which means there there’s an even wider array of textbooks to choose from. If bacterial genetics and the use of retroviral vectors as transfer vessels tickles your fancy, you might want to get a hold of molecular genetics of bacteria. In each chapter, introductory background information is provided to the reader; an invaluable asset for anyone who has limited understanding of certain topics in genetics. The book also offers questions as well as a suggested reading list for the bright sparks eager to do further exploration of their own.

4. Genome: Autobiography of Species in 23 Chapters

A deliberately structured book with a chapter for every chromosome pair in the human body, Genome aims to provide a whistle-stop tour of the human genome, stopping at important landmarks and providing historical context for key genetic advancements. In this book, genetics topics are tackled in a somewhat philosophical manner, with the core text using specialist jargon only when absolutely necessary. A vastly different approach to the average science textbook which usually
assume the reader has knowledge of course specific jargon. If your knowledge of genetics terms is a bit shaky, this is the textbook for you.

5. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

Dawkins takes a different approach to explaining the function of the gene. He proposes that genes are in a constant pursuit of perfection, and organisms including humans, are simply vessels for this cause. The book proposes that natural selection isn’t for the continuation of a species, but is in fact a selfish act by the gene itself trying to achieve immortality. This book is the oldest in the list, and numerous genetic advancements have been made since its publishing, however tit still remains as influential as it was 42 years ago, and is definitely worth a read.

In the constantly changing field of genetics, these books will give you a better understanding and help you get to grips with it.


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