Genes, Chromosomes, and Disease: From Simple Traits, to Complex Traits, to Personalized Medicine (FT Press Science)

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9780137075447: Genes, Chromosomes, and Disease: From Simple Traits, to Complex Traits, to Personalized Medicine (FT Press Science)

This very readable overview of the rise and transformations of medical genetics and of the eugenic impulses that have been inspired by the emerging understanding of the genetic basis of many diseases and disabilities is based on a popular nonmajors course, "Social Implications of Genetics," that Gillham gave for many years at Duke University. The book is suitable for use as a text in similar overview courses about genes and social issues or genes and disease. It gives a good overview of the developments and status of this field for a wide range of biomedical researchers, physicians, and students, especially those interested in the prospects for the new, genetics-based personalized medicine.

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From the Back Cover:

100+ Years of Medical Genetics: An Authoritative History in Social and Ethical Context

 

This is an exceptionally readable overview of the rise and transformations of medical genetics throughout the past century. It thoroughly reviews the field, summarizes current scientific understanding, and encourages readers to seriously reflect on the ethical and social implications. Gillham explains

  • How genetic diseases arise and why some ethnic groups are more susceptible to specific disorders
  • How scientists are trying to identify the genetic factors underlying multifaceted conditions like diabetes and heart disease
  • The value and limitations of genetic information in prevention, treatment, and cure
  • The complex, subtle interrelationships between genes and cancer
  • What science knows--and doesn’t know--about genetics and human behavior
  • The fraught, controversial history of attempts to link genes with intelligence
  • Gene therapy: what’s worked and what hasn’t
  • The potential and profound implications of personalized medicine

 

Extensive references are provided, along with a complete glossary.

About the Author:

Nicholas Wright Gillham is James B. Duke Professor of Biology Emeritus. His research interests involved the genetics and molecular biology of cellular organelles called chloroplasts and mitochondria. For more than a decade he taught a course entitled “The Social Implications of Genetics.” This course fostered his interest in eugenics, human genetics, and their history. He has authored two books on chloroplasts and mitochondria plus a biography of the Victorian scientist Francis Galton entitled, A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics (Oxford University Press, 2001).

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