Synopses & Reviews
Modern genetics began in 1900 with the rediscovery of Mendel's paper, and now the sequencing of the human genome has brought the first century of progress in this field to a triumphant conclusion. Genetics has entered a new era with the advent of genomic and proteomic approaches, and the knowledge in no other biological discipline is advancing as rapidly as that in molecular genetics and cell biology. Proliferation of new terms inevitably accompanies such exponential growth. The sixth edition of A Dictionary of Genetics
addresses the need of students and professionals to have access to an up-to-date reference source that defines not only the most recently coined terms, but in many cases also presents important ancillary encyclopedic information.
A Dictionary of Genetics has a broader coverage than its name implies, since it includes definitions of strictly genetic words along with a variety of non-genetic terms often encountered in the literature of genetics. There are about 7,000 definitions, and tables or drawings that illustrate 395 of these. In addition to the main body of the dictionary, this work features new Appendices covering the genomic sizes and gene numbers of about 30 organisms ranging from the smallest known virus to humans, an up-to-date listing of internet addresses for easy access to genetic databanks, and a list of developments, inventions and advances in genetics, cytology, and evolutionary science from the past 400 years. These 900 entries, covering a period from 1590 to 2001, are also cross-referenced in the definitions that occur in the body of the dictionary. No other genetics dictionary supplies definitions cross-referenced to chronology entries or has species entries cross-referenced to an appendix showing the position of each organism in a taxonomic hierarchy. These features make A Dictionary of Genetics the most important lexicon in this field.
Genetics, the most rapidly advancing of the life sciences, has stimulated more diverse disciplines in the natural and social sciences than any other field. Contributions from scientists of varied backgrounds--anthropologists, chemists, computer specialists, engineers, mathematicians, paleontologists, physicians, and physicists--to its development is one major reason for its prodigious growth. Such growth is accompanied by a proliferation in terminology, which creates a problem both to beginning students and scientists from other disciplines who read papers by geneticists. Various terms, especially in molecular and cell biology, are newly coined and thus not found in any collegiate or biology dictionaries; in some cases, species names are even unfamiliar to students with little or no background in taxonomy.
This fifth edition of the much-needed Dictionary of Genetics contains over 6,500 definitions of terms and species names relevant to the study of genetics. The entries include both strictly genetic and non-genetic terms often encountered in the literature. Also featured is a classification where all the species cited in the text are cross-referenced. There is a chronology covering the period from 1590 to 1996, and its 790 entries are cross-referenced in the appropriate definitions. The chronology is followed by an extensive bibliography and an index of the scientists cited. The final appendix lists Genetic Databases. Thus the book is helpful not only to beginning geneticists, but anyone involved in life sciences. Physicians for example will find at least 50 citations to human hereditary diseases, along with entries on the breast cancer susceptibility genes, cystic fibrosis, familial hypercholesterolemia, fragile X-associated mental retardation, and many other topics. The 250 illustrations and tables add to the unique value of this reference.
About the Author
Robert C. King is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology at Northwestern University. He has published 117 papers and review articles in the field of genetic control of insect oogenesis and has written several books.
William D. Stansfield is an Emeritus Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at California Polytechnic State University. He has published numerous books including The Science of Evolution, Theory and Problems in Genetics, and Death of a Rat: Understandings and Appreciations of Science.
Table of Contents
' A Dictionary of Genetics
Appendix A: Classification
Appendix B: Domesticated Species
Appendix C: Chronology, Index of Scientists Listed in the Chronology, Bibliography
Appendix D: Periodicals Cited in the Literature, Multijournal Publishers, Foreign Words Commonly Found in Scientific Titles
Appendix E: Genetic Databases