Robert C. King, William D. Stansfield, Pamela K. Mulligan
The field of genetics continues to advance at an ever-accelerating pace, marked by numerous extraordinary achievements in recent years: * The human genome project was completed * Breakthroughs in public health have been achieved in relation to newly available genome sequences for parasitic vectors. * DNA microarrays have taken the study of gene expression and genetic variation to a global, genome-wide scale. * The proteomes of key model organisms have been comparatively analyzed in amazing detail. Such momentous advances in genetics have been accompanied by a deluge of new experimental techniques, computational technologies, databases, Internet sites, periodicals, books, and of course, concepts and terms. As new terminology emerges, many old terms recede from use or require revision. New material for this new edition of both the dictionary and its appendices has accumulated more rapidly than in the past. In the proposed new edition the term "genetics" itself is re-defined, reflecting recent technical advances, and with them, the convergence of classical and molecular genetics.Genetics today is no longer simply the study of heredity in the old sense (the study of the inheritance of biological traits from one generation to the next) but also the study of the basic units of heredity, or genes.
Geneticists of the post-genomics era identify genetic elements using forward or reverse genetics and decipher the molecular nature of genes, how they function, and how genetic variation - whether introduced in the lab or present in natural populations - affects the phenotype of the cell or organism. With widespread applications, today's genetics thus also unify the biological sciences, medical sciences, and evolutionary studies. As compared with the current sixth edition, the seventh edition will have many more new and revised entries. The sixth edition had 6,580 definitions; the seventh has 511 new and 980 revised definitions - a 23% change in content.
The publication of this fully updated edition of A Dictionary of Genetics coincides with the hundredth anniversary of the introduction of the term genetics by William Bateson in 1906 at the Third International Conference on Genetics. Since then genetics has made tremendous advances in knowledge and technique and now occupies a pivotal position in the life sciences as the most powerful means for probing fundamental questions in cell biology, development, and evolution. The determination of sequences of complete genomes, the study of gene expression and genetic variation on a global scale, and the ability to rapidly amplify gene sequences and to achieve targeted gene disruptions are just some examples of major achievements in this field. Proliferation of new terms inevitably accompanies such remarkable progress. This new edition of the Dictionary addresses the needs of students, educators, and clinical geneticists for an authoritative and up-to-date reference work that not only defines the latest terms, but in most cases, also presents important ancillary encyclopedic information.A Dictionary of Genetics is unique in that it includes terms from a wide range of disciplines which now intertwine with genetics, including molecular biology, cell biology, medicine, botany, and evolutionary studies. Its 7,000 cross-referenced definitions are supported by an excellent collection of line drawings, tables, and chemical formulae. One-fifth of the Dictionary is devoted to six appendices to which the definitions are cross-referenced and which contain an extraordinary trove of supplementary information. This includes a chronology of important advances spanning the years 1590 to 2005, lists of useful internet sites and periodicals, a classification of living organisms into an evolutionary hierarchy, and a sample table of genome sizes and gene numbers. These features make A Dictionary of Genetics a lexicon unparalleled in the field. For the first time, the Dictionary is available on Oxford Reference Online (ORO): Premium Collection!