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Books, Journals, New Media
January 6, 1999

Genetics: Genetics: 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

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.