Instead of a consumer health resource, Salem Health’s Genetics & Inherited Conditions couches its examination of specific genetic disorders within the universe of both theoretical and practical genetic engineering.
A substantial portion of this this third edition of Genetics & Inherited Conditions treats hereditary diseases and syndromes individually.Those entries discuss risk factors, etiology and genetic manifestations, symptoms, screening and diagnosis, treatment and therapy, as well as preventions and outcomes. Each article includes resources for further reading both online and in print, and the cross-references provided at the end of each are invaluable for finding related articles.
The series of entries on model organisms — among them mice, fruit flies and a variety of yeast that was the first eukaryote to have its DNA sequenced — explain why some species are so ideal for scientific experimentation, which would make for an interesting unit of study in itself.
The resources are also appropriate for students studying controversies surrounding topics such as in vitro fertilization or inbreeding. The volumes also offer some scientific bolster for social issues, including the use of human growth hormone and the safety of genetically modified foods. While it may be a sad commentary that a work on genetics must include an article on health insurance, that entry discusses patients’ understandable reluctance to employ genetic screening for certain disorders given the prospect of future uninsurability.
Each volume contains a complete list of contents for the entire set. The category index in third volume collocates articles on bioethics, viral genetics, evolutionary biology, immunogenetics, and population genetics.
The few black-and white photographs and illustrations are well-chosen. Like the rest of the work, the sophisticated glossary presumes a more than casual acquaintance with genetic concepts.
The third volume includes a number of alphabetical indexes by content, including a personage index and a comprehensive forty-page subject index. There is also a time table of major developments in genetics, an extensive biographical dictionary of important geneticists, most of whom are still alive and working, and a list of Nobel Prizes for genetics-related accomplishments in fields as diverse as medicine, chemistry, and peace. Like the index, the bibliography is organized by subject, including monographs dedicated to each of the inherited conditions. The web sites included tend to be more general in nature, but are vetted and annotated.
Salem offers an electronic version of the resources available with print purchase, which make their resources appealing to print-reliant librarians anticipating a shift to digital reference materials in the near future. Recommended for school libraries as a good resource for advanced life sciences students.