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The Cartoon Guide to Genetics by Larry…

The Cartoon Guide to Genetics (1983)

by Larry Gonick, Mark Wheelis (Author)

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Danish (1)  English (1)  All languages (2)
Thumbs up. This is the third Gonick book that I have read and it was just as enjoyable as the last. It's creative, entertaining, and educational.

Since there is no table of contents, here is a summary of the progression of the book:

* p.1 In ancient times...
* p.17 Science Marches On. From spontaneous generation to fertilization of egg and sperm.
* p.32 To breed or not to breed. The role of farmers and breeders in witnessing inheritance phenomena.
* p.37 Gregor Mendel. Mendel conjectured the existence of genes, solid units of heredity, with binary alleles that can be dominant or recessive. He also "proves" the principle of independent assortment. Genotype and phenotype are explained, as is homo/heterozygous.
* p.56 Microscopy and the discovery of the cell, chromosomes, and mitosis/meiosis.
* p.69 Mapmaking. Discovering the location of genes on the chromosome.
* p.79 Mutation.
* p.84 What determines sex.
* p.97 Cell anatomy.
* p.104 Macromolecules. Water, phosphate (PO4), and Sugars. Polysaccharides, lipids. Nucleic acids and proteins.
* p.108 Proteins. Enzymes are proteins and they are essntial to building an organism. One gene produces one enzyme.
* p.119 The discovery of DNA. Modelling the physical shape of the molecule and its ability to replicate.
* p.129 DNA as a message carrying words that order amino acids in a complete protein. The genetic code.
* p.138 How proteins are made.
* p.144 Procaryotes and eucaryotes. The genetic material is still the same suggesting a common ancestor.
* p.147 Spliceosome. This was a new concept for me -- I had no idea that some genetic words are discarded. Introns and
* p.154 Viruses and retroviruses (viruses that splice their genes into your genetic material).
* p.158 Mutation and dominance.
* p.164 Gene regulation. My favorite bit is the part about attenuation and the equilibrium of histadine on p.172.
* p.179 Genetic engineering. This section describes recombinant DNA, cloning, and big business's role in engineering. It also highlights the promise and dangers of GE.
* p.206 Philosophical questions about genetic diversity.

There's a good line at the beginning that describes the Romans as more concerned with the "technology of death than the science of life". The philosophical ending makes one wonder if those two things are two sides of the same coin. ( )
  danrk | Jan 7, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gonick, LarryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheelis, MarkAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Provides a humorous introduction to the fundamental principles of genetics, including inheritance, mutation, DNA, and gene splicing.

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