Genetics occupies a pivotal position in the biological sciences. Microbiologists, plant and animal scientists cannot get by without it - even ecologists find themselves embracing what was once perceived as a foreign subject.
Genetics also assumes an increasingly important position in human affairs. From DNA analysis in forensic medicine to genetic modification of crop plants and disease-susceptibility testing in humans, genetics is never far from the public arena. Given this prominence, it is increasingly important that today's students become literate and conversant in the language and thinking of genetics.
The seventh edition of An Introduction to Genetic Analysis is a superbly presented and readable text that is aimed at undergraduate classes. Like its previous editions, this one is integrative and balanced in its approach to the subject.
By including within a single book, chapters on molecular genetic detail of specific processes and balancing these with chapters on the population and evolutionary consequences of these processes, students are encouraged to think broadly and holistically.
Like most undergraduate texts published today, this one is well structured, with plenty of thought given to ways of fostering analytical skills. For example, landmark experiments are presented in such a way that students are able to analyse the data and reach their own conclusions - as if they had done the study.
In addition, the artwork is first-rate and many dynamic processes such as meiotic recombination and DNA replication are lucidly portrayed in animated style on the accompanying CD-Rom.
All in all, this is an excellent text that continues to serve its subject well. Its clear presentation and integrative approach make it ideal for first-year university teaching, but I also value its broad scope, which ensures that it, like previous editions, will have a prominent place on my bookshelf.
Paul B. Rainey is lecturer in microbial genetics, University of Oxford.
An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. Seventh edition
Author - A. J. F. Griffiths, J. H. Miller, D. T. Suzuki, R. C. Lewontin and W. M. Gelbart
ISBN - 0 7167 3771 X
Publisher - Freeman
Price - £30.99
Pages - 860