Works Consulted


Paul Berg and Maxine Singer, Dealing with Genes: The Language of Heredity. Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books, 1992. The authors try very hard to keep this book from becoming too technical for the average reader, but they do not always succeed. Basic information on genetics has to be extracted from discussions of more advanced topics.

Howard Coleman and Eric Swenson, DNA in the Courtroom: A Trial Watcher's Guide. Seattle: GeneLex Press, 1994. The authors provide a history of DNA forensics, an explanation of the science behind it, and a discussion of the controversies to which it has given rise.

Karl Drlica, Understanding DNA and Gene Cloning: A Guide for the Curious. New York: John Wiley, 1997. Drlica's goal is to explain the science behind the headlines appearing daily in newspapers around the world concerning the genetic revolution. He does so in easy-to-understand layman's terms.

Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii, Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life. Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1997. This is a translation of a book that was originally published in Russia. The author discusses the history of DNA research and outlines future projects to be undertaken and problems to be overcome.

Laura Gould, Cats Are Not Peas: A Calico History of Genetics. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1996. Gould undertook the study of genetics to understand why her male calico cat was so rare. In an entertaining way, she covers all the basics of a complex science in simple language.

Daniel L. Hartl and Elizabeth W. Jones, Essential Genetics: A Genomics Perspective. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2002. This is a college-level introductory genetics textbook. It is up-to-date and complete and does not require advanced mathematics. However, it is tough going for those without some background in science in general and biology in particular.

R. Scott Hawley and Catherine A. Mori, The Human Genome: A User's Guide. San Diego: Academic Press, 1999. Hawley, a professional geneticist, and his cowriter Mori provide a clear introduction to genetics, with emphasis on those genes that determine sex and sexual development.

William K. Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology. Vol. 1, The Cell and Heredity. Salt Lake City: Sinauer, 1998. This introduction to biology for first-year college students is clearly written and comprehensive. It is designed for those with minimal science background.

Boyce Rensberger, Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Rensberger, science journalist, provides a good account of his subject in layman's terms. The book is useful for situating genetics within a broader discussion of cells and how they work.

Colin Tudge, The Impact of the Gene: From Mendel's Peas to Designer Babies. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000. Science writer Tudge discusses Mendel's work in detail and explores some of the implications of modern genetics for fields like psychology and wildlife conservation.


Tim Beardsley, "A Clone in Sheep's Clothing." Scientific American , March 3, 2000. Beardsley provides a brief account of the technology required to clone Dolly the sheep.

James F. Crow, DNA Forensics: Past, Present, and Future . Madison, WI: Promega, 2000. The article, an overview of how DNA has been used in courtrooms, includes a somewhat technical explanation of the procedures involved.

Electronic Forum on Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture, "How Appropriate Are Currently Available Biotechnologies in the Crop Sector for Food Production and Agriculture in Developing Countries." New York: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2000. This report analyzes the extent to which bioengineered food crops have spread throughout the world.

Virginia Cooperative Extension, "Status Report on Transgenic Organisms." Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1997. This paper provides information on the current state of genetically engineered crops.

John Whitfield, "Obituary: Dolly the Sheep," Nature , February 19, 2003. Whitfield points out some of the pitfalls of animal cloning, based on the health problems and premature death of the world's first cloned mammal.

"Who We Are, How We Age, What We Eat," Palm Beach Post , April 12, 2002.

Internet Sources

Discovery Health Channel, "Cures," Discovery Communications, 2002. . This overview of the applications of genetic research to medicine focuses on the feasibility of genetic cures for various diseases.

Frontline , "What Jennifer Saw," Public Broadcasting Service/WGBH, 1998. . This is a transcript of an interview with attorney Barry Scheck, one of the foremost experts on the legal aspects of genetics. He argues that DNA testing will revolutionize the criminal justice system.

Kenneth R. Bridges, "How Do People Get Sickle Cell Disease?" Harvard University, 2002. . This scholarly paper discusses the causes and consequences of sickle-cell disease, with emphasis on the mechanism of genetic inheritance.

Paul Heyman, Joanne Stark, and Ntobeko Ntusi, "ADA Deficiency," Haverford College, 1999. . The authors provide a scholarly treatment of gene therapy, using adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency as their primary example. Their paper is a thorough discussion of a representative genetic disease and its treatment.

Dennis O'Neil, "Mutation," Palomar College, 2002. O'Neil discusses the process of mutation in the context of evolution. His key point is that while mutation can result in genetic disease it also plays a positive role in evolution by allowing species to adapt to changing environments.

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