Genetic Analysis: An Integrated Approach, 2nd Edition
Life is astounding, both in the richness of its history and in its diversity. From the single-celled organisms that evolved billions of years ago have descended millions of species of microorganisms, plants, and animals. These species are connected by a shared evolutionary past that is revealed by the study of genetics, the science that explores genome composition and organization and the transmission, expression, variation, and evolution of hereditary characteristics of organisms.
Genetics is a dynamic discipline that finds applications everywhere humans interact with one another and with other organisms. in research laboratories, on farms, in grocery stores, and in medical offices, courtrooms, and other settings, genetics plays a prominent and expanding role in our lives. Modern genetics is an increasingly gene- and genome-based discipline—that is, it is increasingly focused on the entirety of the hereditary information carried by organisms and on the molecular circumstances that express genes. Yet despite its increasingly gene-focused emphasis,genetics retains a strong interest in traditional areas of inquiry and investigation—heredity, variation, and evolution. Welcome to the fascinating discipline of genetics; you are in for an exciting and rewarding journey.
in this chapter, we survey the scope of modern genetics and present some basic information about deoxyribonucleic acid—dna, the carrier of genetic information. We begin with a brief overview of the origins and contemporary range of genetic science. next we retrace some of the fundamentals of DNA replication, and of transcription and translation (the two main components of gene expression), by reviewing what you learned about these processes in previous biology courses, and we introduce the most prominent of the modern-day “-omic” avenues of research and investigation in genetics. in the final section, we describe the central position of evolution in genetics and discuss the roles of heredity and variation in evolution.
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