Author(s): Melita Irving
The Human DNA Manual aims to enlighten and entertain the genetically curious layperson on all aspects of our DNA and genetic code. An introductory section covers the basic concepts of genetics and debunks some of the confusion that stems from associated jargon. A history of DNA discovery explains the role of this molecule-of-inheritance and how it conveys the recipe for life, including how to extract your own DNA at home using every day household items. Discussing the relevance of DNA in the past, present and the future, author Melita Irving also covers the potential influence genes have in driving evolution; the concept of bringing back notable historical species from extinction, and the widespread role of DNA in everyday practices. Current issues, such as genetic conditions and the latest medical breakthroughs in detecting them, forensic science, gene therapy and sequencing are all clearly explained. Finally, the book looks at the future of genes and examine the impact DNA will have on the lives of the next generation -- the epigenetics era and potentially heritable consequences of environmental exposures, the contribution of genetic engineering to a functioning society, the concept of gene editing in reproductive medicine, the slippery slope to a 'superhuman' race, and human cloning, as well as the potential for the development of new therapies using gene technology.
Dr Melita Irving is an expert London-based consultant and honorary reader in clinical genetics. Her specialist interests include chromosomal disorders, rare genetic symptoms, and conditions with an underlying genetic cause. She currently acts as the chief investigator for clinical trials in children with skeletal dysplasia, developing the diagnosis of genetic conditions and improving the accurate diagnosis of severe skeletal conditions. Her work is featured in many peer-reviewed publications and she has published extensively on various aspects of clinical genetics.
THE HUMAN DNA MANUAL INTRODUCTION What is DNA and why should I care about it? The recipe for life SECTION ONE: The DNA Toolbox Chapter 1: The History of DNA discovery CELLS Organelles Nucleus Endoplasmic Reticulum Golgi apparatus Mitochondria CHROMOSOMES Karyotype Autosomes Sex chromosomes Cell division Mitosis Meiosis Gametes and zygosity HEREDITY Inheritance patterns and Mendel Genes; Bateson, Hugo de Vries DNA Avery-MacLeod-McCarty Nucleic acid Mieschner & Altmann Double helix Franklin-Wilkins, Watson-Crick Sugar-phosphate backbone Base pairs DNA replication, Meselson-Stahl Exons, introns "Junk" DNA (or what does 98% of human DNA actually do? RNA and ribosomes PROTEINS Cracking the genetic code Nirenberg-Leder, Khorana Aminoacids The shape of you - how protein structure works DNA MODIFICATION/EPIGENETICS Imprinting Uniparental disomy Methylation Coiling Histones, chromatin THE HUMAN GENOME Introduction Sequencing, Sanger Human Genome Project The 100 000 Genomes Project Chapter 2: Genetics in action What is the genetic code? Human gene variation Genetic disease Naming genes, Sonic Hedgehog and Lunatic Fringe Genome builds and browsers Bioinformatics made easy Big data Relatedness and Consanguinity Chapter 3: Practical applications of DNA How to extract DNA in your kitchen Extract DNA from strawberries using household equipment Take the genetic test Conduct the cracker test; find out how quickly you digest carbohydrate Bump, the congenial genealogy dating app The photic sneeze reflex or ACHOO syndrome After a meal of asparagus Is tongue rolling a genetic trait? Always getting a bad hangover? SECTION TWO: DNA Past Chapter 4: History and DNA Genes and Evolution The ABC of extracting ancient DNA What ancient DNA says about us From field to laboratory: what DNA can tell us about the fossil record Home habilis, Home erectus, Homo neanderthalis, Homo sapiens Gene clusters in human speciation Charles Darwin Genes and extinction Could we use ancient DNA to bring Neanderthal man back to life? DNA and race How ancient DNA is transforming history Ancient DNA and the history of the human population Eugenics SECTION THREE: DNA Present Chapter 5: Crime and punishment The history of DNA analysis: Blood typing, Tissue typing, Restriction enzyme, Sanger sequencing, SNPs DNA fingerprinting Alec Jeffreys DNA profiling DNA evidence for crime solving The Genetics of criminality Paternity testing DNA profiling and disaster victim identification Chapter 6: DNA in Medicine Inheritance patterns revisited Autosomal dominant Autosomal recessive X-linked recessive X-linked dominant; Royalty, Rasputin and the Romanovs Mitochondrial Personalised Medicine Pharmacogenomics Genetic predisposition to late-onset disease The difference between diagnostic and predictive genetic testing Genetic anticipation Woody Guthrie's genetic disease Can genetic diseases ever be treated? Skipping generations Genetic predisposition to cancer Modifying genetic risk Reproductive carrier testing for genetic diseases The protective effect of being a carrier The case for cystic fibrosis The case for sickle cell anaemia Consanguinity and recessive disorders revisited Chromosome abnormalities Genetics and reproductive medicine Prenatal diagnosis Preimplantation genetic diagnosis mitochondrial transfer Preimplantation genetic screening Cell-free fetal DNA Gene therapy How is it done? What can it be used to treat? What are its limitations? The microbiome What is the microbiome? How can it affect our health? Obesity and the microbiome Parkinson's disease and the microbiome Microbiome and mental health Special considerations in genetic testing Genetic testing in children Adoption Genetics and insurance Breaking confidentiality: genetic testing and the law SECTION FOUR: DNA FUTURE Chapter 7: Don't believe the hype? The consumer genomics revolution Direct to consumer genetic testing (DTC) Ancestry DNA DNA and data privacy Is obesity genetic? Is gender genetically determined? Chapter 8: What happens next? The Era of epigenetics - nature versus nurture under the microscope Epigenomics Epigenetics and smoking Epigenetics and aging: the epigenetic clock Genetic engineering Gene editing Human reproductive cloning Therapeutic cloning Cancer genomics