As you can see from my previous post, my general bio class has been delving into the molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription and translation. All of these processes were worked out in the latter half of the 20th century following the publication of DNA’s structure by Watson and Crick. Because Watson and Crick’s work was so seminal, it seems reasonable for me to make a couple of book recommendations relating to that work. The first is The Cartoon Guide to Genetics. With a title including the word ‘cartoon’, it is tempting to dismiss this book, but you would be doing yourself a disservice. This is one of the most clearly written genetics books you can ask for. Despite the apparent simplicity, it is surprisingly thorough. I am presently considering making this book required reading for a genetics / ecology course I am planning.
Another book is James Watson’s The Double Helix. This book is short and an easy read, yet it puts you right in the center of the action – both scientific and personal – that surrounded the elucidation of this molecule’s structure.
This brings me to my request… As I mentioned above, I am working on a new course which will act as a second semester to my current general bio class. The main topics of this class will be inheritance, population genetics, the dynamics of populations and how all this informs our knowledge of evolution. I have a couple ideas already, but I thought I would open this space up to accept any suggestions the peanut gallery may have. If you have a book that you like that was a good read and brought up some interesting conversations, let me know and I’ll check it out.