User's Guide to the Human Genome

User's Guide to the Human Genome

If you want to reap the benefits of 21st-century genetic medicine, you'd better learn about your genome. That's what epidemiologist Julia Richards advises, and to help you out, she's co-authored The Human Genome: A User's Guide (Academic Press). Written for non-scientists, the guide offers a straightforward but detailed explanation of genetics and covers such issues as how genes work and how they control cell activity, how mutations arise and under what circumstances they trigger disease, and how traits are inherited.

In the guide, Richards, an associate professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and an expert in glaucoma genetics at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, and co-author R. Scott Hawley, an investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri, and a professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Kansas, describe the Human Genome Project, examine cloning and genetic therapies, and explore the ethical ramifications of altering human genes to find cures. Above all, they show the very real and personal ways that genetic research affects human lives--and as Richards points out, increasingly those lives will be our own.

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