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Genetics

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Variation of Manifestation in Childhood

Genetic disorders in children can have highly variable effects. Even relatively common disorders may go undiagnosed and untreated by clinicians who are not familiar with the range of "atypical" cognitive or behavioral symptoms possible in an affected child. Recent research in genetics and brain development has altered the phenotypic description of various disorders, but this new knowledge is not readily available to practitioners.

The Impact of Sex, Symbiosis, and Modularity on the Gradualist Framework of Evolution

No biological concept has had greater impact on the way we view ourselves and the world around us than the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's masterful contribution was to provide an algorithmic model (a formal step-by-step procedure) of how adaptation may take place in biological systems. However, the simple process of linear incremental improvement that he described is only one algorithmic possibility, and certain biological phenomena provide the possibility of implementing alternative processes.

Genetics, Bioengineering, and the Future of the Human Condition

As our scientific and technical abilities expand at breathtaking speeds, concern that modern genetics and bioengineering are leading us to a posthuman future is growing. Is Human Nature Obsolete? poses the overarching question of what it is to be human against the background of these current advances in biotechnology. Its perspective is philosophical and interdisciplinary rather than technical; the focus is on questions of fundamental ontological importance rather than the specifics of medical or scientific practice.

Edited by Hamid Bolouri

The advent of ever more sophisticated molecular manipulation techniques has made it clear that cellular systems are far more complex and dynamic than previously thought. At the same time, experimental techniques are providing an almost overwhelming amount of new data. It is increasingly apparent that linking molecular and cellular structure to function will require the use of new computational tools.

Current thinking in evolutionary biology holds that competition among individuals is the key to understanding natural selection. When competition exists, it is obvious that conflict arises; the emergence of cooperation, however, is less straightforward and calls for in-depth analysis. Much research is now focused on defining and expanding the evolutionary models of cooperation. Understanding the mechanisms of cooperation has relevance for fields other than biology.

The idea of the gene has been a central organizing theme in contemporary biology, and the Human Genome project and biotechnological advances have put the gene in the media spotlight. In this book Lenny Moss reconstructs the history of the gene concept, placing it in the context of the perennial interplay between theories of preformationism and theories of epigenesis. He finds that there are not one, but two, fundamental—and fundamentally different—senses of "the gene" in scientific use—one the heir to preformationism and the other the heir to epigenesis.

A Social History of the Recombinant DNA Controversy

Genetic Alchemy summarizes and clarifies the background of policy and ethical issues, the debates engendered by uncertain risks to researchers and the population at large, and the roles played by scientists involved in one of the most prominent and controversial new technologies, gene splicing. The author, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University, brings to the topic his experience on the Cambridge Review Board as it considered the siting of a recombinant DNA research facility, and on the NIH's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

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