Genetics For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Book description

Your no-nonsense guide to genetics

With rapid advances in genomic technologies, genetic testing has become a key part of both clinical practice and research. Scientists are constantly discovering more about how genetics plays a role in health and disease, and healthcare providers are using this information to more accurately identify their patients' particular medical needs. Genetic information is also increasingly being used for a wide range of non-clinical purposes, such as exploring one's ancestry.

This new edition of Genetics For Dummies serves as a perfect course supplement for students pursuing degrees in the sciences. It also provides science-lovers of all skill levels with easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand information about this exciting and constantly evolving field.  This edition includes recent developments and applications in the field of genetics, such as:

  • Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing
  • Precision medicine and pharmacogenetics
  • Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for health risks
  • Ancestry testing

Featuring information on some of the hottest topics in genetics right now, this book makes it easier than ever to wrap your head around this fascinating subject.


Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Foolish Assumptions
    4. How This Book Is Organized
    5. Icons Used in This Book
    6. Beyond This Book
    7. Where to Go from Here
  3. Part 1: The Lowdown on Genetics: Just the Basics
    1. Chapter 1: Welcome to Genetics: What’s What and Who’s Who
      1. What Is Genetics?
      2. Genetics as a Career
    2. Chapter 2: Basic Cell Biology
      1. Looking Around Your Cell
      2. Mitosis: Splitting Up
      3. Meiosis: Making Cells for Reproduction
    3. Chapter 3: Visualize Peas: Discovering the Laws of Inheritance
      1. Gardening with Gregor Mendel
      2. Speaking the Language of Inheritance
      3. Simplifying Inheritance
      4. Finding Unknown Alleles
      5. Applying Basic Probability to the Likelihood of Inheritance
      6. Solving Simple Genetics Problems
    4. Chapter 4: Law Enforcement: Mendel’s Laws Applied to Complex Traits
      1. Dominant Alleles Rule … Sometimes
      2. Alleles Causing Complications
      3. Making Life More Complicated
      4. Uncovering More Exceptions to Mendel’s Laws
  4. Part 2: DNA: The Genetic Material
    1. Chapter 5: DNA: The Basis of Life
      1. Chemical Ingredients of DNA
      2. Examining Different Varieties of DNA
      3. Digging into the History of DNA
    2. Chapter 6: Chromosomes: The Big Picture
      1. Deconstructing the Double Helix
      2. Anatomy of a Chromosome
      3. Two Chromosomes Are Better than One (or Three)
      4. Sex Chromosomes: Is It a Boy or Girl?
    3. Chapter 7: Replication: A Copy Machine for DNA
      1. Unzipped: Creating the Pattern for More DNA
      2. How DNA Copies Itself
      3. Replication in Eukaryotes
      4. How Circular DNAs Replicate
    4. Chapter 8: DNA Sequencing: Decoding the Genome
      1. Sequencing: Reading the Language of DNA
      2. Sequencing Your Way to the Human Genome
      3. Trying on a Few Genomes
    5. Chapter 9: RNA: DNA’s Close Cousin
      1. You Already Know a Lot about RNA
      2. Transcription: Copying DNA’s Message into RNA’s Language
      3. Post-transcription Processing
    6. Chapter 10: Translating the Genetic Code
      1. Discovering the Good in a Degenerate
      2. Meeting the Translating Team
      3. Taking the Translation Trip
      4. Proteins Are Precious Polypeptides
    7. Chapter 11: Gene Expression: What a Cute Pair of Genes
      1. Getting Your Genes Under Control
      2. To Be Expressed or Not To Be Expressed?
      3. Regulating Gene Expression: A Time and Place for Everything
      4. Controlling Transcription Before It Starts
      5. Regulation of Gene Transcription: Flipping the Switch
      6. Retroactive Control: Things That Happen after Transcription
      7. Gene Control Lost in Translation
      8. Prokaryotic Gene Expression
  5. Part 3: Genetics and Your Health
    1. Chapter 12: When Things Go Wrong: Changes in DNA Sequence
      1. Heritable or Not Heritable?
      2. Facing the Consequences of Sequence Variants
      3. Sorting Out Terminology
      4. What Causes Sequence Variants?
      5. Evaluating Options for DNA Repair
    2. Chapter 13: Chromosome Disorders: It’s All a Numbers Game
      1. Chromosome Numbers: No More and No Less
      2. Aneuploidy of the Autosomal Chromosomes
      3. Aneuploidy of the Sex Chromosomes
      4. Exploring Variations in Chromosome Structure
      5. How Chromosomes Are Studied
      6. Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing for Aneuploidy
    3. Chapter 14: Taking a Closer Look at the Genetics of Cancer
      1. Defining Cancer
      2. Recognizing Cancer as a DNA Disease
      3. Breaking Down the Types of Cancers
    4. Chapter 15: Genetic Counseling, Risk Assessment, and Genetic Testing
      1. Getting to Know Genetic Counselors
      2. Building and Analyzing a Family Tree
      3. Autosomal Inheritance: No Differences Among the Sexes
      4. Found on Sex Chromosomes: Sex-linked Inheritance
      5. Testing for Genetic Disorders
    5. Chapter 16: Treating Genetic Disorders and Using Genetics to Tailor Treatment
      1. Alleviating Genetic Disease through Gene Therapy
      2. Inserting Healthy Genes into the Picture
      3. Finding Vehicles to Get Genes to Work
      4. Progress on the Gene Therapy Front
      5. Utilizing Genetic Information for Precision Medicine
  6. Part 4: Genetics and Your World
    1. Chapter 17: Tracing Human History and the Future of the Planet
      1. Genetic Variation Is Everywhere
      2. Breaking Down the Hardy-Weinberg Law of Population Genetics
      3. Mapping the Gene Pool
      4. Changing Forms over Time: The Genetics of Evolution
    2. Chapter 18: Solving Mysteries Using DNA
      1. Rooting through Your DNA to Find Your Identity
      2. Investigating the Scene: Where’s the DNA?
      3. Employing DNA to Catch Criminals (And Free the Innocent)
      4. It’s All Relative: Finding Family
    3. Chapter 19: Genetic Makeovers: Using Genetic Engineering to Change the Genome
      1. Genetically Modified Organisms Are Everywhere
      2. Old Genes in New Places
      3. Looking at the GMO Menagerie
      4. Transgenic plants
      5. Changing the Blueprint: Gene Editing
    4. Chapter 20: Giving Ethical Considerations Their Due
      1. Profiling Genetic Discrimination
      2. Ordering Up Designer Babies
      3. Ethical Issues Surrounding Genetic Testing
      4. Informed Consent
      5. Patient Autonomy
      6. Privacy and Confidentiality
      7. Incidental Findings
      8. Direct-to-Consumer Testing
      9. Practicing Safe Genetic Treatments
      10. Genetic Property Rights
  7. Part 5: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 21: Ten Defining Events in Genetics
      1. The Publication of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”
      2. The Rediscovery of Mendel’s Work
      3. DNA Transformation
      4. The Discovery of Jumping Genes
      5. The Birth of DNA Sequencing
      6. The Invention of PCR
      7. The Development of Recombinant DNA Technology
      8. The Invention of DNA Fingerprinting
      9. The Birth of Developmental Genetics
      10. The Work of Francis Collins and the Human Genome Project
    2. Chapter 22: Ten Hot Issues in Genetics
      1. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing
      2. Whole Exome Sequencing
      3. Whole Genome Sequencing
      4. Stem Cell Research
      5. The ENCODE Project
      6. Proteomics
      7. Gene Chips
      8. Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance
      9. Circumventing Mother Nature
      10. Genetics from Afar
  8. Glossary
  9. Index
  10. About the Authors
  11. Connect with Dummies
  12. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Genetics For Dummies, 3rd Edition
  • Author(s): Tara Rodden Robinson, Lisa Spock
  • Release date: January 2020
  • Publisher(s): For Dummies
  • ISBN: 9781119633037