In this third edition of his popular undergraduate-level textbook, Des Nicholl recognises that a sound grasp of basic principles is vital in any introduction to genetic engineering. Therefore, the book retains its focus on the fundamental principles used in gene manipulation. It is divided into three sections: Part I provides an introduction to the relevant basic molecular biology; Part II, the methods used to manipulate genes; and Part III, applications of the technology. There is a new chapter devoted to the emerging importance of bioinformatics as a distinct discipline. Other additional features include text boxes, which highlight important aspects of topics discussed, and chapter summaries, which include aims and learning outcomes. These, along with key word listings, concept maps and a glossary, will enable students to tailor their study to suit their own learning styles and ultimately gain a firm grasp of a subject that students traditionally find difficult.
"An easy to follow narrative, accompanied by simple, clear diagrams, provides the interested student with the background needed [...] the book, therefore, fills an important niche and should be brought to the attention of upper-level undergraduate students and beginning graduate students in any branch of biology that makes use of molecular techniques."
– ASM News
"[...] easy to read, clear and well organised [...] I certainly recommend it for all sixth-form libraries. In addition, this is an accessible but comprehensive basic text for the undergraduate to use."
– Pauline Lowrie, Biology
"I know my days of being lost and struggling to find my way in genetic engineering lectures would not have happened if I had come across this textbook much earlier."
– Journal of Biological Education
Part I. The Basis of Genetic Engineering
2. Introducing molecular biology
3. Working with nucleic acids
4. The tools of the trade
Part II. The Methodology of Gene Manipulation
5. Host cells and vectors
6. Cloning strategies
7. The polymerase chain reaction
8. Selection, screening and analysis of recombinants
Part III. Genetic Engineering in Action
10. Understanding genes, genomes and 'otheromes'
11. Genetic engineering and biotechnology
12. Medical and forensic applications of gene manipulation
13. Transgenic plants and animals
14. The other sort of cloning
15. Brave new world or genetic nightmare?
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Desmond Nicholl is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Paisley, Scotland