Jonathan Slack examines the discovery, nature, and function of genes in both evolution and development in this investigation of the idea of the gene. Slack emphasizes how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration and can also be used by forensic scientists to identify suspects in crimes. She explains the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease. Slack also examines topics like the relationship between intelligence and genetic heredity, as well as changes that take place in populations’ genes during evolution.
This Very Short Introduction shows how the gene concept has been understood and applied by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. It is the perfect introduction for anyone interested in what genes are and how genetics may be used.