- Publisher: Icon Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781848313477
- ISBN-13: 978-1848313477
- ASIN: 1848313470
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 160 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,913,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance Paperback – March 1, 2012
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I felt there was too great an emphasis on epigenetic causes of human diseases, about which fairly little is known (except for a few rare but well-explored cases). Therefore, I only skimmed the last few chapters.
I read this book and also took a Coursera online course in epigenetics, but I still have no clear idea about the relationship between genetics and epigenetics as applied to inheritance patterns. I cannot imagine how to add epigenetic dynamics to the biological models I work with, or if they make any difference at all to population biology.
I learned a lot from this book and want to learn more about this topic. I did find it difficult to stay engaged, partly because of Carey’s abundant use of adverbs, and partly because I’m not well versed in biology. Maybe if I had a better basic understanding before going in – it’s been a long time since I took a college biology course – it would’ve been more engaging for me. Overall a great introduction to the field.
The criticism of its intended audience being unclear is fair. At times, it seems to be aimed at a rather lay audience with slightly odd analogies that over simplify almost to a fault. A few pages later, jargon and technicalities are tossed around that definitely require a solid background in biology to follow with any ease. This has the discordant effect of making the simplistic analogies seem even more odd. It can’t seem to decide if it expects you to remember only basic high school biology or if it prefers you’ve had at least a couple of undergraduate level courses in molecular biology and genetics.
That being said, it was incredibly helpful in updating my understanding of this field. As a biology major in the ‘90s, this field was so nascent that it was barely addressed, let alone studied thoroughly. As a teacher of AP Bio in high school today, I needed an update on vertebrate gene regulation in order to be able to competently address the topic in my classroom. This book provided exactly that. While I won’t be teaching most of the advanced details in this book, I will be adjusting a few critical things to ensure alignment with today’s knowledge.
Even better, it reminded me why I have always found genetics so fascinating. It’s even more so now than it was 25 years ago. As so often happens in emerging fields, each intriguing answer leads to dozens more questions. If you think the way a basic prokaryotic operon works is pretty cool, learning about mammalian epigenetic gene regulation will make your brain geek out with intellectual joy.
Read it as an informal textbook to an academic class in Epigenetics. Probably got 33% of all the learning from the book and 67% from the class, and I have a suspicion the the basic lessons of the book will stick more than the forest of class details about what protein acetylates what unit of the histone.
Would possibly be nice to expose a little more of the molecular detail, without frightening horses and small children.
The book is not for people interested in molecular aspects of DNA methylation, but it does not need to be, since such text would not be for a wide audience. My only critique would be that the author should add few more figures, that could make the text bigger pleasure to read and browse. If there are about 10 more drawings in the text I would give it full five stars. I have no doubt that with rapid development of epigenetics, this book will come in newer editions. With few additional drawings, it will be a five star read. One missing figure could be changes in DNA methylation through embryonic development and gametogenesis. Congratulations to the author, Cheers to all readers.