Skip to main content
Genes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Genes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Current price: $11.95
Publication Date: August 27th, 2023
Oxford University Press, USA
The MIT Press Bookstore
3 on hand, as of Dec 8 10:45am
On Our Shelves Now


Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring

In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. By explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also be used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution.

An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. This second edition has been fully updated and contains new sections on the CRISPR method for targeted genetic modification, on DNA profiling, and developments in our understanding of human ancestry using ancient DNA.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Author

Jonathan Slack, Emeritus Professor, University of Bath, UK & University of Minnesota, USA Jonathan Slack studied at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities. His specialities are embryonic development and stem cell biology. While working for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund he discovered the first inducing factor controlling embryonic development. He was Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath from 2000-2006 and Director of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota from 2007-2012. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), was awarded the Waddington Medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology in 2002 and elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2004. He is author of Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction (2021, OUP).