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GENETICS: BREAKING THE CODE OF YOUR DNA (Inquire and Investigate) Paperback – April 15, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This exploration of genetics uses the question "How are traits inherited from one generation to the next?" as a jumping-off point. Each chapter explains key discoveries and advances that have led to our current understanding of genetics, starting with Gregor Mendel. A variety of topics are covered: the discovery of DNA, the role of genes and chromosomes, the process of mitosis and meiosis, and the importance of RNA. The book also examines genetic mutations and scientific advances in the field, such as DNA fingerprinting, genetically modified organisms, and cloning. Written in a conversational style, this text renders complex content comprehensible. Each chapter includes many hands-on activities of varying degrees of usefulness and effectiveness. Given minimal but generally sufficient instructions, students are asked to recreate a version of Mendel's experiment, create a Punnett square, extract DNA from fruit, and create a model depicting meiosis, among other tasks. Internet access is required for some activities. Black-and-white, comic booklike illustrations impart some information but mostly add humor. Sidebars contribute additional facts, including scannable QR codes that link to helpful videos, such as clips on sexual reproduction and mitosis available though YouTube on Hank Green's Crash Course channel. These codes are a great addition, assuming students have access to a smartphone or a tablet app. A solid STEM resource recommended for general interest as well as supplemental curricular use.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
What do dimples, a widow’s peak, and a cleft chin all have in common? Genetics! Beginning with a time line and an introduction to the study of heredity, this entry in the Inquire and Investigate series explains genetics in eight chapters that build upon one another. The first chapter presents Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, and his groundbreaking work with pea plants. Other chapters highlight the makeup of cells, DNA and how it sends messages, genes and chromosomes, sex cells and meiosis, and gene mutations. A final chapter considers genetic advances, such as genetic modification and cloning, and ethical questions pertaining to these issues. Each chapter concludes with easy-to-follow inquiry-based activities and experiments that emphasize the scientific method and help students understand the topic. Numerous cartoons, facts, and QR codes that link to videos add further interest. Although the book can be used independently, it will be better appreciated with some background knowledge. A solid resource that shows life science and biology students the practicalities and marvels of genetics. Grades 4-7. --Angela Leeper
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