James S. Thompson and Margaret W. Thompson GENETICS IN MEDICINE, THIRD EDITION Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders 1980, 396 pp.
This text is introductory, and the authors acknowledge that many advances in basic science and clinical applications in genetics have not been included. Objectives of the text were to be selective in choosing material and to provide a book introducing genetics to medical students who have varying backgrounds of orientation to the field. This text, most useful in health science curricula, has evolved from experience gained by the authors in evaluating the previous two editions.
Divided into 18 chapters, the book's introductory chapters include genetic disorders classification, the importance of the family history, chromosome basis of heredity, and patterns of genetic transmission. Other chapters are devoted to examples of the various groups of genetic disorders - biochemical, chromosomal aberrations, immunogenetics, multifactorial, and blood groups. Discussions are included in the areas of linkage, congenital malformations, mathematical genetics, population genetics, use of twin studies, and dermatoglyphics. The final chapter is entitled an overview and includes brief presentations on behavior genetics, genetics and cancer, genetic screening, genetic counseling, treatment of genetic disorders, and prenatal diagnosis. It ends with a glossary, references, and answers to problems which appear at the end of each chapter.
The authors accomplish their objective of providing an introductory text in a very satisfactory way. The organization of the material is logical and the student finds it readable and understandable. The illustrations augment the text in a commendable manner. The overview chapter is less complete than others. Although the clinical applications mentioned are admittedly selected, the discussions of the areas are sketchy. More complete discussions on screening, prenatal diagnosis, cancer genetics, and genetic counseling are indicated since these areas are expected to provide the motivation for the health science student.
This is an important text and is appropriate and highly recommended for beginning health professional students.