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February 8, 1965

The Matter of Mendelian Heredity

Author Affiliations

Bloomington, Ind


By K. R. Lewis and B. John. 269 pp, 68 illus. $10. Little, Brown & Co., 34 Beacon St, Boston 6, 1964

JAMA. 1965;191(6):508. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080060082045

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Modern genetics is often a maze of calculations and chemistry, and gaining a clear concept of basic genetic principles requires more than memorizing the three laws of Mendel. In this book, the authors emphasize development of a critical attitude toward genetic observations and data. Through analysis of the classic experiments by Mendel, Johannsen, Bateson, and Bumpus, the laws of genetics take form.

Written primarily as a university-level textbook, the book discusses the fundamental laws of heredity, cytogenetic events, gene action, and evolution. The chemical basis of heredity receives brief but adequate attention. The presentation of elementary statistics is particularly clear and concise. From the probabilities in the toss of a coin to the coefficient of variation, text and examples combine to make eloquent sense.

Easily read data tables and graphs supplement the text. While the diagrams of bivalent orientation in meiotic division are adequate, they are not easily understood. Accompanying

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