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Modern Genetic Analysis: Integrating Genes and Genomes Second Edition Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0716743828
ISBN-10: 0716743825
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman; Second Edition edition (February 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716743825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716743828
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In the last few years several very good textbooks and monographs in genetics have appeared, due mainly to the success of various genome projects and also to the rise of bioinformatics as a new discipline in biology, computer science, and mathematics. Most of these textbooks have appeared in many prior editions, and comparing these older editions with the newest ones, one can indeed see a remarkable difference in enthusiasm in the authors. They are clearly very excited about the developments in molecular biology and genetics that have taken place and the confidence among biologists that the fundamental understanding of life is finally within reach. Readers can share their excitement by the study of these books, and doing so one cannot help but be marveled by the incredible ingenuity of the scientific methods used to unravel the processes of life.
Of all these excellent books, I find this one to be the best, and my judgment of the book's quality is from the standpoint of someone who is very involved in the algorithms behind bioinformatics and mathematical biology and is attempting to gain, as quickly as possible, the necessary background in genetics. My review therefore will be primarily addressed to those mathematicians or even physicists who plan on moving into bioinformatics.
To relative newcomers to genetics such as myself, the learning of molecular biology and genetics can involve a huge amount of memory work. To the more mathematically-inclined reader, the memorization of facts can be most unpalatable.
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Format: Hardcover
Anthony Griffiths is the principle author of both 'An Introduction to Genetic Analysis' and 'Modern Genetic Analysis.' The former book is in its sixth edition, while the later is in it's second. I highly recommend both textbooks as the best teaching texts I have ever come across. Personally however, I prefer using 'Modern Genetic Analysis' because it is easier to understand, and less frustrating and confusing for students. The 'Introduction to Genetic Analysis' textbook is larger, more annotated, and has more difficult problems. The 'Modern Genetic Analysis' textbook provides a better basic framework on which to build an understanding of genetics, without going into too many unnecessary details that (in my opinion) only confuse students new to the subject.
The second edition of 'Modern Genetic Analysis' is very similar to the first edition, and only about ten percent of the material (at most) has been changed. Most of the problem sets are the same, but have been renumbered. This is actually a teaching advantage because it gives students the option of buying used copies of the first edition rather than new copies of the second.
One major improvement in the second edition, however, is the addition of internet-based genetics tutorials. Students are directed to the various public genome databases on the internet, used by real researchers, and are given practice assignments to do. They are shown how to conduct gene and protein homology searches, how to find open reading frames, and how to access other forms of information from the various public domain databases on the internet. Since internet databases have now become one of the most important tools available to geneticists these tutorials are a welcome addition to this textbook. I highly recommend it.
Greg Doheny (Vancouver, Canada)
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Format: Hardcover
Tony Griffiths has headed ten editions of his "Introduction to Genetic Analysis", which takes a classical 'peas first, DNA later' approach. The pedagogical justification has been that genetics is preeminently a problem-solving science, and that by developing ideas in their historical order, you provide an opportunity to learn the subject in the same way as it was developed.

THE DIFFICULTY is that this works well up through the cracking of the genetic code in the mid-1960s. Thereafter, genetics and molecular biology proliferate in so many directions that it is no longer possible to provide a linear historical narrative. Worse (or better) yet, the biotechnology and genomics revolutions of the last ten years have opened so many interesting doors that there is simply no time in an introductory course to take whole or even half lectures for the 'famous name' experiments.

MY COURSE currently begins, "As you all know, DNA is a double-stranded helical molecule that replicates semi-conservatively," a standing broad jump over Watson & Crick, Hershey & Chase, Meselson & Stahl, et al.

MGA is intended to reverse the classic order, to begin with a detailed discussion of the structure and function of DNA, RNA, and protein in producing phenotypes. The molecular phenomena can then be used to explain *why* some gene variants can be called 'recessive' or 'dominant', and how this results in 3:1 ratios. By not presenting mendelian concepts as primary, it is possible to deliver a much more effective teaching approach as to How Gene Work. Problem solving with rough guinea pigs and pink flowers can be supplemented with inferences from bands on gels and ASO spot patterns. I used both editions, up till last year, and had good results.
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