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Cartoon Guide To Genetics [Paperback]

Larry Gonick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.99
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Book Description

Aug. 1 1991 0062730991 978-0062730992 New edition
Illustrates, simplifies, and humor-coats the important principles of classical and modern genetics and their experimental bases, with amusing anecdotes about how the ancients tried to explain inheritance and sex determination.

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Cartoon Guide To Genetics + Cartoon Guide To Physics + The Cartoon Guide To Calculus
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Having trouble deciphering your genetic code? Do dominant genes make you feel recessive? Let reigning nonfiction cartoonist Larry Gonick and microbiologist Mark Wheelis ease your way through Mendelian genetics, molecular biology, and the basics of genetic engineering. Gonick's drawings range from a moderately detailed look at ribosomes in action to loony pictures of dancing scientists, talking peas, and opinionated fruit flies. Matthew Meselson, co-discoverer of the "one gene-one protein" principle, says, "it puts textbooks to shame"--and he's right. --Mary Ellen Curtin


"If you can't learn Mendelian genetics from this text, I guess you never will." -- -- New Scientist

"It puts textbooks to shame." -- -- Matthew Meselson, Professor of Biology, Harvard Univercity

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent intro to an important field Sept. 17 2003
Genetics, as you've probably heard, is a field of study that's likely going to play a very big part in society's near future. It's also a tough branch of science to grasp. What's the difference between DNA, a gene, a chromosome and a genome? How much of a role does genetics play in your health - is DNA destiny?
This book is a solid introduction to understanding genetics: the basics of the science, the history of humanity's knowledge of it, how it relates to other fields (ie evolution) - all explained well, in both word and the highly helpful illustrations. As always, Gonick tosses in some humor with his cartoons, but don't be fooled into thinking this is kid stuff. He delves into serious science. (And I noted with great amusement that one reviewer who hated the book was a big fan of the "for dummies" series. Irony much?)
I liked this book a lot - not quite as good as The Cartoon Guide to Physics, and bear in mind that current advances in genetics may well render parts of the book outdated soon... but it's still well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Genetics Aug. 29 2003
By "lkm49"
I use this book to introduce 8th graders to Genetics as it is entertaining, gives them good basic information and keeps them amused (and therefore reading!). Because we are working with basic genetics and because I am able to bring them to the present once they understand the basic concepts this book works very well as a text. I also find that it works well with a variety of ability groups. For the poor reader it is very visually stimulating and the writers are pretty funny. It also reads well in spurts or chunks. For the more advanced reader or student it is good because they can read through it quickly and get all the basic information that I need them to have for this class. I highly recommend the book for any middle school teachers that want to introduce a fairly abstract topic to a group of students who are predominantly still concrete learners. If you are looking for a book to inform you on new discoveries in the field this is not your book, but if you need a book to introduce genetic concepts to young people (or older non-readers), this is an excellent choice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historical tour through genetics in a comic book Jan. 9 2003
By Audiaa
The cartoon guide to genetics is like a comic book through the history of genetics starting with ancient times and going through modern genetic engineering. The chronological arrangement of information is informative and interesting. In the age of the sequenced human genome it is often hard to think of what science was like without information that is now taken for granted. The scientists that paved the way for modern genetics -Mendel, Beadle, Griffith, Chargaff and many more and their landmark experiments are all given a moment in the spotlight. Even some incorrect theories are introduced including the reasoning behind them at the time. The section on Mendel's famous pea plant experiments is especially well done. There are several pages of Punnett squares (though the author doesn't really use that word) and drawings of what causes the different ratios. This concept is often hard for students to understand, but it is explained well and simply here.
This book does not assume that the reader has any scientific background and everything is explained from the basics. It also does not get into real detail about anything, but that kind of detail isn't necessary for a broad understanding of genetics. Most of the comics aren't really that funny, but even so they bring levity to an often difficult topic. I happen to enjoy the picture of the human-strawberry hybrid. This is a great book for visual learners who like to see everything; the diagrams in this book make complicated systems simpler without leaving out too much. This is a good background resource for anyone who wants to understand the hot topic of genetics. Granted a lot has happened since this book was published, but the foundation is still the same.
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4.0 out of 5 stars -ACAAATGGGCTAG- (Spells out: I like it) Dec 25 2001
I bought this book, because a friend of mine once mentioned it, and when I later stumbled on it I simply had to buy it. It amazed me to find such a relatively huge amount of "knowledge" in a "comic book", or in a book for that matter!! Having some insights in genetics I was surprised to see that it didn't leave any wide gaps or ironically didn't fill them with useless garbage. However, do not go to such lengths as believing to have read everything needed to make a clone of your dog, because even though it brings about information, bare in mind that information can come in many forms: Morse code, (-*-DNA-*-) etc. but also detailed information. Regard this masterpiece as a very-well written and informative summary of how BASIC genetics work and not a "detailed" textbook. Call it a guide....a cartoon guide.....to genetics.
I gave it a mere 4 stars, because I like colors (Couldn't find them....!). But then again, perhaps I am colorblind...........No hold on, let me take a look at my X-Cromosome, yes I see, sure enough, It hasn't mutated... :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Demystifies DNA April 18 2001
I'm no science genius and college zoology left me still in the dark regarding DNA. I bought this book because one reviewer said that his colleague was using it for a genetics course and I knew a student who needed some help with genetics. I read the book myself, and then spoke with the student. This book would be great for someone in Introductory Biology but for someone in a genetics course it's simply not advanced enough. But the book did help me understand DNA for the first time. It also showed me that a good instructor can make the whole field understandable and interesting unlike my college zoology professor who only made it intimidating and boring. Now if the genetics instructor I'm thinking of would read this maybe she'd figure out how not to bore her class to sleep.
Seriously I loved the historical approach to the field, the cartoons and the jokes were great. This book took the intimidation factor out of biology to a degree. Now I can at least talk intelligently about the subject. High school students could learn a lot from this, and struggling college freshmen might not struggle quite so badly in introductory biology with this at their side.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
kids love this book.
Published 23 days ago by RogerYoung
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not doesn't cover more than the basics
I purchased this book to review the basics of genetics, mostly to be able to sound more knowledgeable than my pre-med significant other. Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by DCpostdoc
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and uninformative
This piece of junk found its way to my garbage can not long after buying it. I've had great success with the "For Dummies" series in acquiring computer application... Read more
Published on June 1 2003 by Marc Cenedella
4.0 out of 5 stars Genetics for dummies
this is a pretty good book that covers the basics, but I would never confuse this with a textbook. I would have to disagree with the assertion that it "puts all textbooks to... Read more
Published on May 29 2003 by medlabtech
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good introduction
This book is just another of Larry Gonick's successes in books. After borrowing a couple of his books I decided to buy most of his publications. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2002 by Marco Ruiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introductory text to genetics
This book was written in 1983 to present an interesting and unintimidating approach to explaining Mendelian genetics, interspersing humor with history and simplifying some of the... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2001 by Jim Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars Biology is FUN!
I loved this book. It was so much fun. I'm a medical school student and I just finished a Cell Biology class. Read more
Published on July 6 2001 by Ivi
5.0 out of 5 stars A great refresher course on genetics
Having graduated from college more than ten years ago, I was becoming increasingly frustrated in trying to keep up with the latest advances in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2001 by James Jorasch
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