Looking for an examination copy?
If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact email@example.com providing details of the course you are teaching.
What are genes? What do genes do? These seemingly simple questions are in fact challenging to answer accurately. As a result, there are widespread misunderstandings and over-simplistic answers, which lead to common conceptions widely portrayed in the media, such as the existence of a gene 'for' a particular characteristic or disease. In reality, the DNA we inherit interacts continuously with the environment and functions differently as we age. What our parents hand down to us is just the beginning of our life story. This comprehensive book analyses and explains the gene concept, combining philosophical, historical, psychological and educational perspectives with current research in genetics and genomics. It summarises what we currently know and do not know about genes and the potential impact of genetics on all our lives. Making Sense of Genes is an accessible but rigorous introduction to contemporary genetics concepts for non-experts, undergraduate students, teachers and healthcare professionals.Read more
- Explains challenging and complex concepts in an accessible way to enable the reader to engage critically with current, often inaccurate, representations of what genes are and what they can and cannot do
- Provides an inter-disciplinary overview, combining perspectives from a wide range of fields with current genetics and genomics research to provide a pragmatic view of genes
- Discusses the uses of metaphors in science and how these should and should not be used
Reviews & endorsements
'A beautifully and lucidly written book of great insights … I have not seen in one volume such clear analysis of the nuanced view of the 'gene' … A valuable book that gives genes a new and accurate meaning and does justice to understanding genetics in a non-reductive [manner] through a systems approach. The clarity, precision and insights are wonderful.' Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University, MassachusettsSee more reviews
'… an extremely intellectual and erudite treatment of the history and meaning of genes and genomes. The book is half hard-core genetics and half provocative and fascinating philosophy of science … cogently written, highly informative and genuinely thought-provoking.' John Avise, University of California
'… it is really marvelous: very clearly written, very thoughtfully structured and marvellously sensitive to the needs of the reader, especially in providing 'take-home message' summaries just when and where they are most welcome. I especially admired the way the author consistently manages to help the reader dial down expectations when faced with hype about genetic tests and the latest 'gene for' discoveries.' Gregory Radick, University of Leeds
'There is a vast and curious mismatch between what biological science has discovered by empirical investigations on the mechanisms of heredity and the understanding of what appears to be the central concept, that of the gene. Despite careful attempts to show both the nature and the significance of this gap, the scientific media, and public perceptions of the concept, persistently follow a successfully popularized view that is not justified by what we now know. Kampourakis’ book is an excellent attempt to correct the situation … by bringing impressive scholastic skills to tackle the problem, the author has in my view made a very major contribution. The book deserves very wide attention.' Denis Noble, University of Oxford
'Kampourakis provides an excellent critical analysis of the genetic discourse at the intersection of science and the public, based on the latest scientific findings from genomics and systems biology. The book fills an important gap in the literature in terms of the balance it keeps between accessibility and scientific rigour. It calls for a change in the ways students and the public are told what genes are and what they do, and it does so with compelling persuasiveness. A must-read, packed with convincing empirical material, for educators, journalists and academics who are critical of the usual 'gene for' talk, but do not want to give up on the fascinating insights that the science of genetics provides.' Staffan Müller-Wille, University of Exeter
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: May 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107128132
- length: 314 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- contains: 97 b/w illus. 10 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Prolegomena: genes, science and science fiction
1. Mendel and the origins of the 'gene' concept
2. The genes of classical genetics
3. The molecularization of genes
4. So, what are genes?
5. 'Genes for' (almost) everything
6. Are there 'genes for' characters?
7. Are there 'genes for' diseases?
8. So, what do genes do?
9. Genes are implicated in the development of characters
10. Genes account for variation in characters
11. Genomes are more than the sum of genes
12. Limitations in the study of genomes
Concluding remarks: how to think and talk about genes?
Welcome to the resources site
Here you will find free-of-charge online materials to accompany this book. The range of materials we provide across our academic and higher education titles are an integral part of the book package whether you are a student, instructor, researcher or professional.
Find resources associated with this titleYour search for '' returned .
Type Name Unlocked * Format Size
*This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to instructors adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.
These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.
If you are having problems accessing these resources please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, this resource is locked
Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email email@example.comRegister Sign in
You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.Continue ×