New edition just published! Order from publisher or Amazon


Tags

Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

When Mutation Counters Infection: From Sickle Cell to Ebola

November 19, 2014

Tags: balanced polymorphism, Ebola, sickle cell, cystic fibrosis, natural selection, Niemann-Pick C1, PKU, genetic disease, prions, mad cow disease

Balanced polymorphism retains mutant genes in populations when they protect against other conditions.
While pharmaceutical companies focus on drug discovery for Ebola virus disease, a powerful clue is coming from a rare “Jewish genetic disease” that destroys the brain. People with Niemann-Pick C1 disease can’t get Ebola, adding to the list of disease pairs that arise from a fascinating form of natural selection.

Balanced polymorphism, aka heterozygote advantage, is a terrific illustration of ongoing evolution. And it pits the human body against all sorts of invaders – prions, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. (more…)

Bed Bug Orgies and Evolution

December 6, 2011

Tags: bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, pyrethrin, insecticide, bedbugregistry.com, Coby Schal, Ed Vargo, North Carolina State University, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, evolution, natural selection, Ricki Lewis

Seeking evidence for evolution? Look at bed bugs.

For the past century, the 5-millimeter-long, triangular headed, reddish residents of urban hotel bedrooms have mutated themselves into resistance to any insecticide we can throw at them. Cimex lectularius was nearly vanquished mid-century, when (more…)

instruction
Project to engage students in helping families with rare genetic diseases
Book Club Reader's Guide
Many challenging questions to stimulate thought and discussion.
Instructor's Guide
38 discussion questions to get students thinking and talking about gene therapy, including the science, ethical issues, and the drug approval process.
Narrative science
The Forever Fix is the uplifting true story of 8-year-old Corey Haas, who was cured of hereditary blindness just 4 days after gene therapy.
College Textbooks
A spectacularly-illustrated, clearly written human anatomy and physiology textbook, used in pre-health profession programs throughout the U.S.
A highly engaging, clearly written, beautifully illustrated introduction to the science of human genetics for the non-scientist. Now in its 11th edition, 12th to be published in September 2018.
Nonfiction
An ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, genomes, and the genetic ties that bind us all.

Quick Links