Introduction to Genetic Analysis 3

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 3 - 2 Chapter 1 Genetics...

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Unformatted text preview: 2 Chapter 1 Genetics and the Organism CHAPTER OVERVIEW W hy study genetics? There are two basic reasons. First, genetics occupies a pivotal position in the entire subject of biology. Therefore, for any serious stu- dent of plant, animal, or microbial life, an understanding of genetics is essential. Second, genetics, like no other scientific discipline, is central to numerous aspects of hu- man affairs. It touches our humanity in many different ways. Indeed, genetic issues seem to surface daily in our lives, and no thinking person can afford to be ignorant of its discoveries. In this chapter, we take an overview of the science of genetics, showing how it has come to oc- cupy its crucial position. In addition, we provide a per- spective from which to view the subsequent chapters. First, we need to define what genetics is. Some define it as the study of heredity, but hereditary phenomena were of interest to humans long before biology or genet- ics existed as the scientific disciplines that we know to-...
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