Human Heredity: Principles and Issues

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9780314773029: Human Heredity: Principles and Issues

This introduction to human heredity/genetics for the non-science major requires no previous exposure to biology, chemistry, or mathematics. It covers the latest research and technological advances in human genetics and the implications of this knowledge on the human condition (social, cultural, and ethical). Now full-color throughout, the Fourth Edition includes significant content revision and features chapter opening prologues, more clinical material woven throughout the text, and less technical jargon. Short case studies and Internet activities end many chapters, and end-of-chapter exercise sets are new.

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About the Author:

Michael Cummings is the author and coauthor of a number of widely used college textbooks, including BIOLOGY: SCIENCE AND LIFE; CONCEPTS OF GENETICS; GENETICS: A MOLECULAR PERSPECTIVE; ESSENTIALS OF GENETICS; HUMAN HEREDITY; and HUMAN GENETICS AND SOCIETY. He has also written articles on aspects of genetics for the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology and has published a newsletter on advances in human genetics for instructors and students. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Northwestern University. His doctoral work, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. R.C. King, centered on ovarian development in Drosophila melanogaster. After a year on the faculty at Northwestern, he moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where for many years he held teaching and research positions. In 2003, he joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and currently holds the title of Research Professor. His current research interests involve the organization of DNA sequences in the short-arm and centromere region of human chromosome 21. He is engaged in a collaborative effort to construct a physical map of this region of chromosome 21 for the purpose of exploring molecular mechanisms of chromosome interactions. At the undergraduate level, he has focused on teaching genetics, human genetics for non-majors, and general biology to majors and non-majors. He has received awards given by the university faculty for outstanding teaching, has twice been voted by graduating seniors as the best teacher in their years on campus, and has received several teaching awards from student organizations.

Review:

"Dr. Cummings has organized this text in a manner that carefully builds from fundamental topics and concepts to more complex modern genetics. His approach to the text is unbiased and balanced on controversial issues. This is the best non-majors genetics textbook available. As always, Michael Cummings writing is clear and precise, perfect for the audience to which it is written. The Cummings book continues to get better. It is carefully written and appropriate for non-majors."

"In this edition, Cummings does an excellent job of tackling how biotechnology is changing the way we look at the world through the creation of transgenic organisms and the way that we look at ourselves with new genetic testing procedures and human genomics...When using the sixth edition I had augmented the material on biotechnology and genomics. Now with chapters 14 and 15 in the new edition I will not have to do so. The current material is already there."

"My impression is quite good. The text is designed for students of a non-biology or non-genetics background, introducing them to the complexities of human genetics without overwhelming them with intense molecular terminology...The major strength of the manuscript is that it is very readable. Students with limited exposure to genetics should not be intimidated by the text."

"The strength of the text is that it begins at a simple level and gets more complex as the chapters proceed. All chapters allow areas for bioethical discussions relevant to the students. This keeps the course interesting for the student and allows for exciting discussions."

"I think that more than any other book of its kind, the text succeeds in bringing home the relevancy of the material and making connections with ethical issues that advances in genetics bring with them...The writing style is very accessible to most students. This is the single strongest attribute of the text...In many cases the author introduces a topic or concept and then presents an example that illustrates the topic clearly. This is VERY effective. In addition, the vignettes and "How Would You Vote?" features that have been added provide a nice conceptual framework for the student beginning the chapter. My students already found the book to be user-friendly, and I think the new edition will be an improvement."

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Michael R. Cummings
Published by Brooks/Cole (1991)
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Michael R. Cummings
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