From genes to genomes: Concepts and applications of DNA technology: Dale, Jeremy W., and von Schantz, Malcolm


From Genes to Genomes: Concepts and Applications of DNA Technology

Dale, Jeremy W., and von Schantz, Malcolm; John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2002, ISBN 0471497835 (paperback), $39.95, ISBN 0471497827 (hardback), $95.00.

This monograph is excellently organized. In the preface the authors state “we had in mind its usefulness for undergraduate students in the biological and biomedical science.… ” This book meets this goal admirably.

The book starts with the most fundamental concepts but warns the reader about the procedures not being as simple as they sound and with appropriate warnings about overinterpretation. Each time this reviewer thought of something that should now be included, the authors either dealt with the topic in the next paragraph or indicated where it would be covered later. None of the sections within the chapters was long nor went into mind-numbing detail, rather the basic concepts were conveyed in a manner that made easy reading while providing appropriate information.

Major chapter headings include Basic Molecular Biology, How to Clone a Gene, Purification and Separation of Nucleic Acids, Vectors, Genomic and cDNA Libraries, Finding the Right Clones, to name a few, and ending with chapters on Medical Applications, Present and Future and on Transgenics. The authors very carefully marked new terms with italics and provided an extensive glossary at the end of the book. They also included useful URLs in the text at appropriate places, and a page listing major relevant web sites is also included at the end.

This book would be an outstanding addition to the library of an undergraduate or graduate student and a useful aid for the libraries of mentors of undergraduate students.