General Geneticsby A. Srb; R. Owen; R. Edgar

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  • General Genetics by A. Srb; R. Owen; R. EdgarReview by: M. M. EgarThe American Biology Teacher, Vol. 28, No. 8 (Oct., 1966), pp. 650-651Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the National Association of BiologyTeachersStable URL: .Accessed: 24/06/2014 23:12

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  • chrome oxidase system, myosin, actin, etc. You get the idea that he is trying to show you that he too knows the jargon of molecular biology.

    Otherwise the author takes a somewhat tradi- tional and fairly conservative approach to his subject. A typical statement is the one on page 245 that says, "Since the chromosomes are be- lieved to be the bearers of hereditary character- istics, their distribution is of great interest to geneticists." Atypical is the statement on page 17 that says, "The nuclear DNA is the molecule of heredity, and the sequence of the base pairs is the genetic code providing information and direction regarding the specific function of the cell."

    Although the book is in the fifth edition, I think it could be improved by sticking to the essentials of histology and omitting the super- ficial treatments of other subjects such as endo- crinology, molecular biology, and physiology. One of the nice features of the book is the illu- strations. Electron photomicrographs are used sparingly.

    Incidentally, we use this text at Butler Uni- versity for the histological phase of our course in vertebrate histology and microtechnique. It serves our purpose very well.

    Murrill Lowry Department of Zoology Butler University

    Microbiology MICROBIOLOGY, 3rd Ed., Louis Gebhardt and

    Dean Anderson, 488 pp., $7.75, C. V. Mosby Company, Saint Louis, 1965. MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY INSTRUCTIONS, 3rd Ed., Gebhardt and Anderson, 335 pp., $4.25, C. V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, 1965. The fact that these two books are in third

    edition is some evidence of their popularity and ability to reach the needs of the elementary course in microbiology. They are straightfor- ward, unembellished texts with little reference to complex metabolic pathways and with a heavy emphasis on industrial applications of the sci- ence. As is customary, protozoology and virology came off with slight treatment. Of course, there is nothing on the algae. Also, the emphasis on pathogens indicates one of the chief objectives of the texts, namely, the beginning course in viruses, etc.

    The lab manual is perforated so that each exercise is complete with instructions and blank page for handing in. The exercises are simple and unembellished, indicating the author's class- room experience.

    The pair of books should be examined for the elementary service courses, and the high school teacher will find them useful as references.

    MICROBIOLOGY, 2nd Ed., Michael J. Pelezar, Jr. and Roger D. Reid, 662 pp., $9.50, Mc- Graw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1965. A most beautifully published book, a model

    for the textbook publishers' art. Full color is used where appropriate and line drawings are superb. This is truly a most useful and inclusive text for the elementary microbiology course.

    Even though the amount of material on these organisms' ability to show reproductive mecha- nisms, including DNA, is also reduced in com- parison to other texts, it is full of valuable ma- terial. Indeed, it is one of the few microbiology texts which recognize protozoa, algae, and fungi.

    Everything seems well done in the text, and while the expert may find errors of fact, one can- not make a strong case against the book's effec- tiveness and coverage.

    A fine reference for the high school and a well known text for the collegiate course.

    THE BIOLOGY OF THE ALGAE, F. E. Round, 269 pp., $7.25, St. Martins Press, New York, 1965. The interests of the author are reflected in the

    emphasis placed on physiology and ecology, but this increases the value of the book since most of the available texts on the algae stress taxonomy and morphology. It will be most useful as an ad- junct text for courses in the algae and as a source of references for both phycologist and non-phy- cologist.

    Richard C. Starr Department of Botany Indiana University

    Genetics GENERAL GENETICS, 2nd Ed., A. Srb, R. Owen,

    R. Edgar, 557 pp., $9.00, W. H. Freeman Company, San Francisco, 1965. In the fourteen years since Srb and Owen

    wrote the first edition of "General Genetics," tremendous advances have been made in genet- ics. The authors of the second edition are to be commended on the excellence of their prod- duct which must have resulted from an ex- tremely difficult sorting task.

    The second edition maintains the high quality and the lucid explanation of the first edition, yet, also, includes the significant modern discoveries without becoming too voluminous for an introductory genetics course. The stu- dents offered a substantial background to classical genetics as an integral part of a clear, concise structure, greatly extended by recent discoveries from microbial and biochemical research.

    While the page number has not increased in this new edition, the concepts of gene struc- ture and function have increased. Many of the

    650 The American Biology Teacher, October, 1966

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  • helpful teaching devices-chapter summary, annotated references, problems and questions- have been up-dated and retained. Each of the fifteen chapters is concluded by a brief summary of the significant ideas; the problem and ques- tion sections include lists of terminology and graded problems which emphasize and extend the points discussed in the text; and the refer- ences include classics in the field as well as recent contributions. Though the annotations for the references will prove to be a worth- while guide, certain ones might just as well have been omitted, e.g., "'Transformed Bac- teria' . . . (a description of transformation.)," and "'Transduction in Bacteria' . . . (a descrip- tion of transduction)."

    The number of chapters has been reduced with a rather general reorganization. The chap- ters on plant breeding and animal productivity have been omitted from the second edition as has the chapter on genetics and evolution; though these concepts have been well integrated with other material at pertinent locations throughout the book.

    This reviewer was somewhat disturbed by the authors' interjections of personal admonish- ments to the reader which seem to break the train of thought, rather than guide it.

    The book is well designed for a very thorough introductory course and, as such, would not be a suitable text for the more elementary or superficial survey courses. It is an extremely clear and fascinating presentation which will stimulate the serious student and serve as a valuable reference for the teacher.

    M. M. Egar Anatomy Department Western Reserve University

    GENETICS, Rev. Ed., Hans Kalmus, 253 pp., $1.45, Doubleday and Co., Inc., Garden City, New York, 1964. This is a well-written paperback intended to

    present genetics in an up-to-date manner for those people who desire to know more about this interesting subject. It should prove helpful to biology teachers who have not had a course in genetics recently. Some of the better high school biology students may learn quite a bit from this book, but for the majority, the book would be too difficult.

    Molecular genetics is treated well, but the concept of DNA would have been easier to un- derstand if more drawings had been included.

    The book has a glossary which the students and teachers should find useful.

    Walter A. Cory, Jr. Madison Consolated High School Madison, Indiana

    GENETICS IN THE ATOMIC AGE, Charlotte Auer- bach, 111 pp., $2.50, Oxford University Press, New York, 1965. This book must be evaluated in the light of

    its stated purpose: To provide the non-scientist with a rational basis for evaluating one of the major problems confronting man today-atomic radiation, its effect on the mutation rate, and the nature of the mutations induced. In a democratic country such as that of the author (Great Britain) as well as in our own, every citizen has the moral responsibility to inform himself relative to such problems and then to formulate his own opinion as to how to deal with the problem. Dr. Auerbach states that her book is ". . . intended to help the reader in this task by putting before him a brief and simple review of the biological findings which must form the basis of any such judgment."

    In order to accomplish this goal among non- biologists, much fundamental biology must be simply presented. Thus, the first seven chapters (69 pp.) deal in a very lucid fashion, using the minimum of terminology and omitting Punnett squares and Mendelian ratios, with reproduction, mutation, heredity, meiosis, Mendelism, sex determination, and similar basic material. It is remarkable how a skillful writer can accurately present the fundamental principles of a complex discipline in such a simple way, using the mini- mum of technical vocabulary. For those inter- ested in the art of good teaching this book has its own cryptic message!

    Once this foundation of basic biology is in place, the author turns in the remaining two chapters (some 35 pp.) to the problems of "The Production of Mutations by X-Rays" (chapter 8) and "The 'Genetically Permissible' Dose of Radia- tion" (chapter 9). It is in these chapters that reader notes the author's familiarity with the field of radiation genetics, her acquaintance with current research in that field, and ultimately her own conviction that man's future will indeed be blighted by an increased genetic load of dele- terious, radiation-induced mutations unless atomic and X-radiation are wisely controlled.

    For those who wish to pursue the subject in a more formal fashion, the book concludes with an appendix of common scientific terms used in connection with the study of Mendelism and with references to official reports on radiation hazards. The book contains simple line drawings prepared by the author's sister. Generally these drawings are adequate, frequently they are humorous, and occasionally they give evidence of real inspiration.

    Thomas R. Mertens Ball State University Muncie, Indiana

    Book Reviews 651

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    Article Contentsp. 650p. 651

    Issue Table of ContentsThe American Biology Teacher, Vol. 28, No. 8 (Oct., 1966), pp. 585-680Front Matter [pp. 585-647]EditorialIn My Opinion: Interpreting Biology [p. 588]

    Some Innovations Developed by American Schools in Response, in Part, to the Population Explosion [pp. 597-605]Erratum: Aquatic Ecology Studies in High School Biology [p. 605]Education and World Survival [pp. 606-609]Tips for TeachersThe Secret of Discovery [p. 609]

    Preparation of High School Biology Teachers [pp. 610-615]Tips for TeachersThe Bulletin Board [p. 615]

    A Unique Program in Support of Teacher-Student Science Research in the High School [pp. 616-617]Student Laboratory Assistants in High School Biology [pp. 618-620]One Answer to Lab Assistants [pp. 621-622]Letters to the Editor [p. 622]Evaluation in High School Biology [p. 623]A Profile of Junior College Biology [pp. 624-626]Tips for TeachersNotice to Biology Students [p. 626]

    New NSTA Officers [p. 626]Integrated Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Junior College Teaching [pp. 627-631]Back to Chickens? [pp. 631-632]Scientific Pets in the School [pp. 633-637]Free Bibliography: Biological Books [p. 637]Stored-Products Insects as Experimental Animals in High School Biology [pp. 638-643]Inorganic Growth [pp. 643-644]Ovule, Ovary, Fertilization, Albumen: Confusion [pp. 645-646]Newly Discovered Fossils [p. 646]Book ReviewsHuman BiologyReview: untitled [p. 648]Review: untitled [p. 648]Review: untitled [p. 648]Review: untitled [pp. 648-649]Review: untitled [p. 649]Review: untitled [p. 649]Review: untitled [p. 649]Review: untitled [pp. 649-650]

    MicrobiologyReview: untitled [p. 650]Review: untitled [p. 650]Review: untitled [p. 650]

    GeneticsReview: untitled [pp. 650-651]Review: untitled [p. 651]Review: untitled [p. 651]Review: untitled [p. 652]Review: untitled [p. 652]Review: untitled [p. 652]Review: untitled [pp. 652-653]

    Cellular and Developmental BiologyReview: untitled [p. 653]Review: untitled [p. 653]Review: untitled [pp. 653-654]Review: untitled [p. 654]Review: untitled [p. 654]Review: untitled [p. 654]Review: untitled [pp. 654-655]Review: untitled [p. 655]Review: untitled [p. 655]Review: untitled [p. 655]Review: untitled [pp. 655-656]Review: untitled [pp. 656-657]Review: untitled [p. 657]Review: untitled [pp. 657-658]Review: untitled [pp. 658-659]Review: untitled [p. 659]

    Ecology and Natural HistoryReview: untitled [p. 660]Review: untitled [p. 660]

    Back Matter [pp. 661-680]