Summary

We use DNA routinely - to cure diseases, solve crimes, and reunite families. Yet we've known about it for only 60 years. And what we're continuing to learn about it every day has the potential to transform our health, our nutrition, our society, and our future.
But what, exactly, is DNA, the self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms? You'll learn the answer - and much more - in this briskly paced series of 24 easily understood lectures from an award-winning teacher, author, and scientist. Professor Sadava unlocks DNA's mysteries as he explains what the science of genetics is and guides you through decades of cutting-edge research, scientific discovery, and genetics' weighty implications for us as individuals and as a society. Professor Sadava draws on examples from his own research to show how understanding genetics allows us to improve medical treatment and nutrition, vastly improving our health and quality of life.
You'll also learn how understanding genetics is a critical step toward understanding human identity, itself. For examining our DNA - how it works and what happens when something goes wrong - enables us to see the roots of how our bodies work, why we get sick, and how traits are passed through families.
Enjoy this rare opportunity to peer over the shoulder of a working scientist, learning how he puzzles through the problems of genetics to find meaningful, real-world solutions that can not only save an individual life but also enhance the quality of life for everyone.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By jcw on 13-07-14

A bit basic

Any additional comments?

I've learned a lot from other Great Courses lectures so I was looking forward to this one. However, although the topics were well-structured and the concepts were well-explained, it was a bit basic. For example, epigenetics didn't even get a mention. Also, although the lecturer clearly knew his stuff, he was a bit pollyannaish about genetic technology. Overall, if you want a sound introduction with lots of real-world examples, these lectures will probably fit the bill. However, if you want something aimed at an intermediate level and with a bit of nuance, they probably aren't for you.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By miss on 22-02-17

good voice and delivery of subjective.

very good finished it all. easily go back and relisten to chapters of interest. narrator had a good flow and tone of voice.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 15-12-13

Very good book on genetics

I thought that this was a very good book on genetics and how this field of science is being applied in the real world. The material is presented in a way that the average listener can understand and grasp. The delivery of the lectures are very well done. You will learn the basics about genetics and develop a working vocabulary. The author and in this case the professor / narrator starts each lecture with a very interesting story that sets the stage for the content of the lecture. If you have any interest in learning the basics about genetics, then I highly recommend this audio book. The Great Courses usually do a great job at providing content. This is a good book for high school students or above. It is a very interesting and enjoyable course.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Pru on 17-05-14

Great introduction to genetics

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this to anybody who is curious about genetics. This is a great introduction to the short history and slightly technical side of genetics in layman's terms. David Sadava keeps the course engaging with a memorable story at the start of each lecture and briefly tells the story of all the important contributors (Mendel, Darwin, the guys who first thought of the double helix etc.). He explains the significance and relevance of each topic to today's society (forensics, agriculture, ethics, disease & medicine). This course has made me realise the vast practical applications of genetics. Being from a science background but never having gotten around to studying biology, the knowledge I've taken from this course will be invaluable. I can now read otherwise intimidating texts on the subject now that I am familiar with the basic terms and concepts.

What other book might you compare Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications to and why?

I think if you are serious about understanding the material, the DVD version, having diagrams, would make things much easier (although it is significantly pricier). As with all sciences some concepts cannot be explained easily without a diagram. I would recommend taking notes throughout the course and looking up key concepts online for relevant graphs (e.g. punnet squares), diagrams and illustrations (DNA double helix, molecular structures, cell diagrams etc.).

Which character – as performed by Professor David Sadava – was your favorite?

Mendel - the father of modern genetics. Another great contributor who wasn't appreciated during his lifetime!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Silly question.

Any additional comments?

Sadava is a good lecturer. He is very listenable and has friendly tone reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld at times.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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