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2nd edition. Eberhard Passarge. (Pp 457.) Stuttgart: Thieme. 2001. ISBN 3-13-100362-6. New York: Thieme. 2001. ISBN 0-86577-958-9.
The second edition of this pocket sized book is successful in its aim to cover a wide range of genetics topics in a concise yet clear and well illustrated way. The book is written primarily for students of medical sciences, but also fulfils a handy role for physicians with an interest in genetics, or indeed those involved with clinical genetics, as a rapid and comprehensible reference for concepts, methods, and terminology with which the reader may be unfamiliar. In addition, it provides some very useful ideas for approaching and illustrating undergraduate teaching in genetics.
First published in 1994, this edition has been updated and expanded, as is necessary in such an expanding field, with new sections on genomics, and many new colour plates covering areas such as cancer predisposing genes, ion channel diseases, and regulation and expression of genes. The fundamental format used in the first edition is retained, with the book divided into three sections, fundamentals, genomics, and genetics and medicine. The book includes useful references relating to each topic, in addition to relevant helpful website addresses. Disease mechanisms are well explained, although the clinical aspects are kept to a minimum.
The initial impression may be one of an over ambitious attempt to be all inclusive for significant value, with very busy pages, but further reading shows the true value of the atlas, with succinct text and informative and clear illustrations, explaining current understanding in this field.
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