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Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications | [The Great Courses]

Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications

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?
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Publisher's 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.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (66 )
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4.5 (56 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chris Albuquerque, NM, United States 12-15-13
    Chris Albuquerque, NM, United States 12-15-13 Member Since 2011

    cleith

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A CLARKSVILLE, TN, United States 08-21-13
    A CLARKSVILLE, TN, United States 08-21-13
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    "Interesting lectures on biotechnology"
    Where does Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is probably my favorite non-fiction audiobook so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The content is very relevant to our lives and is pretty up to date on modern biotechnology. The beginning had a great review of genetics before jumping into the biotechnology lectures.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meryl Sydney, Australia 05-17-14
    Meryl Sydney, Australia 05-17-14 Member Since 2012
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George M. Tulloch Seattle, WA 08-10-13
    George M. Tulloch Seattle, WA 08-10-13 Member Since 2012

    Rudra68

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    "Informative and Entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications the most enjoyable?

    Helped me understand the topic.


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

    I don't know


    What about Professor David Sadava’s performance did you like?

    I like how he provided information with historical anecdotes and analogies.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    no

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 08-16-14
    Robert 08-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Genetics course is quite good"
    Would you listen to Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications again? Why?

    I listen to it over and over because each time through I seem to get something new and interesting..


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications?

    I enjoyed the lecture about genetics and agriculture...it was interesting both from a scientific point of view and a social and historical perspective.


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

    I enjoyed his story about the scientist who genetically engineered crops to triple their yield creating food for billions of people.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Worth reading or listening too, valuable education in genetics for anyone and everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • jcw
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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