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Books, Journals, New Media
January 6, 1999

GeneticsGenetics: A Popular Guide to the Principles of Human Heredity

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association


three videos, 73 min and one CD-ROM, for Macintosh 68040 or PowerMac with 8MB RAM, 8 bit color, System 7.1, Quicktime V2.1.1 or Windows 486/66 or higher with CD-ROM drive, 2 MB RAM, Windows 95 or 3.1; $240, $340 with videos, ISBN 0-9587305-4-7, Westmead, Australia, Animated Biomedical Productions, 1998.

JAMA. 1999;281(1):90-91. doi:10.1001/jama.281.1.90-JBK0106-7-1

The first video in this popular series on genetics is entitled "Understanding the Basic Concepts." It covers basic biology briefly and superficially but deals with the topics of chromosomes, DNA, transcription to mRNA, and translation to protein rather extensively. It also explains the concept of independent assortment and crossing over of chromatids in an easily understandable manner. The animation helps make those complex phenomena easy to grasp.

Part 2, "Discovery: Disorders and Mutations" begins by depicting the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel's discovery of patterns of inheritance through his experiment on pea plants. The program proceeds with examples of human disorders that follow Mendelian inheritance as autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, and X-linked traits. The program explains concisely and well the clinical manifestations of the disorders and their respective molecular mutations. It goes on to briefly discuss the role of mutations in evolution and the issue of heterozygous advantage, as in resistance to falciparum malaria in carriers of sickle cell trait.

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