2nd Edition

Human Genetics: The Basics

By Ricki Lewis Copyright 2017
    206 Pages
    by Garland Science

    206 Pages
    by Garland Science

    Human genetics has blossomed from an obscure biological science and explanation for rare disorders to a field that is profoundly altering health care for everyone. This thoroughly updated new edition of Human Genetics: The Basics provides a concise background of gene structure and function through the lens of real examples, from families living with inherited diseases to population-wide efforts in which millions of average people are learning about their genetic selves. The book raises compelling issues concerning:

    • The role of genes in maintaining health and explaining sickness

    • Genetic testing, gene therapy, and genome editing

    • The common ancestry of all humanity and how we are affecting our future.

    Written in an engaging, narrative manner, this concise introduction is an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, genomes, and the genetic ties that bind us all.


    List of Figures & Tables



    Chapter 1. From Mendel’s Peas to Double Helices

    From Genes to Genomes

    Agriculture is Applied Genetics

    Mendel’s Experiments —The Mystery of the Missing Traits

    The Chromosome Connection

    In Pursuit of the Genetic Material

    Chapter 2. How Genes Work

    A Brief History of CF

    Mikayla’s Story

    The Individual Level: Tissues and Organs

    The Family Level

    The Population

    Chapter 3. Genes and Health

    A Genomic View of Health

    Causes of Death – An Organizing Framework

    Cancer: The Cell Cycle Out of Control

    The Microbiome and Infectious Disease

    Chapter 4. Genetic Testing

    The First Generation of Genetic Tests: Proteins

    The Second Generation of Genetic Tests: DNA

    The Third Generation of Genetic Tests: Exomes and Genomes

    Chapter 5. Gene Therapy and Genome Editing

    Protein Therapy Came First

    Gene Therapy

    Gene and Genome Editing

    Chapter 6. From Ancestry to Destiny

    DNA as Clock and Compass

    The First Hominins

    DNA Evidence Overlaps Fossil Evidence

    Expansion Out of Africa

    From Archaic Humans to Modern Humans

    Into Europe

    Genetic Genealogy and Ancestry Testing

    The Future: Will Humanity Homogenize or Diverge?





    Ricki Lewis is Adjunct Professor of Medical Education at Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical Center, US. She has a PhD in Genetics, writes the DNA Science blog at the Public Library of Science, is a genetic counsellor, and is the author of several popular titles.

    "A fascinating and informative introduction to the topic of human genetics. This excellent book would be suitable for anyone wishing to obtain a better understanding of genetic topics, especially those related to human health and disease." Elaine Hemers, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

    The second edition of this excellent book gives a comprehensive overview of the expanding field of human genetics. Easy to read and illustrated with real life examples the book is enjoyable to read for everyone interested in human genetics, both lay persons and professionals. Katarina Pelin, University of Helsinki, Finland