Genetics for Dummies

Some time ago, my daughters suggested I write a "dummies" book about Genetics. I really don't like the series, but decided to think about it.

A few days ago, I did just that--think about it, that is--by checking out a link from some page that referred to genetics education sites. I found that there is already a Genetics for Dummies book, published in 2005, and written by a geneticist from the Northwest. 

Scooped again. But that leave more time for other things. 

If you're interested in reading this book, and other books on many, many topics, you can download free online versions. The site's bookmarked on my other machine, so I'll have to add it to this post in an edit. I had to register for and download an access program first, but could then download and read the book I wanted.

First, I eagerly checked out the table of contents. Then, I went to the first chapter called something like "what is genetics and why should I  care about it?". I scanned the entire chapter and didn't find the "why should I care?" discussion. I'll do some Internet searching and see if others noticed that also and whether the author eventually answered the question.

Meanwhile, let me try to address the question of why someone would want to learn about genetics.  Here are some reasons off the top of my head:

  • Interest in family history
  • Concern over your personal potential for inherited conditions or disease potential
  • Protecting your existing children
  • Dealing with a specific condition or disease know to have genetic cause or components
  • Interactions with and concerns over close relatives, including parents and siblings
  • Identifying the reasons for physical and mental traits--genetic, environmental, or both
  • Graduating from high school
  • Science fair projects (your own or your children's)
  • A curious mind
  • It's the "in" thing at the moment
  • Genetics is awesome!

So, why should you be interested in learnng more about genetics? The list may help you realize that you already are interested. Now, you have to decide where and how to find the particular stuff you're interested in. 

Let me help you. 

Marie Godfrey, PhD






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