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Advances in Genetics. Vol. 20. Edited by E. W. Caspari. New York: Academic Press, 1979. Pp. 464. $41.00. Advances in Genetics was launched 20 volumes ago to cope with the rapid progress in the diverse areas of life sciences impacted by genetic research. As genetic principles, concepts, and techniques were applied to these areas—including medicine—either by geneticists or converts to the genetic approach, specialized bodies of knowledge were gradually isolated or insulated from the mainstream of genetics. In contrast to the annual reviews which are frequently annotated bibliographies , lavane« in Genetics presents minimonographs with depth, breadth, and frequently considerable scholarship. Each volume attempts a broad coverage. In volume 20, the minimonographs cover influenza virus genetics (C. Scholtissek); applied microbiology (V. S. Malik); plant tissue culture and breeding (I. K. Vasil, M. R. Ahuja, and V. Vasil); mechanisms of sex determination, gonadal sex differentiation, and germ-cell development in animals (J. R. McCarrey and U. K. Abbott); recent advances in histocompatibility (G. D. Snell); and hereditary anemias of the mouse (E. S. Russell). The minomonographs range from 28 to 87 pages and include extensive references to publication date. Geneticists are likely to weigh price and specialized contents against their specific interests in adding this volume to the personal library. On the other hand, each volume is a worthwhile and perhaps necessary addition to departmental and institutional libraries. Volume 20 maintains the high standards in this important series of great interest to geneticists and nongeneticists attempting to keep abreast of the knowledge rather than the information explosion in their fields. Human Genetics: Possibilities and Realities. CIBA Foundation Symposium 66 (New Series). New York: Elsevier North-Holland Publishing Co., 1979. Pp. 437. $51.25. Many geneticists are unaware of the riches to be found in the human species. The application of the concepts and tools of molecular genetics and biology to an unlikely experimental species, man, has already yielded extraordinary returns for both basic genetic theory and human biology, including medicine. The CIBA Symposium 66 is indeed devoted to the possibilities and realities of human genetics. The chairman's closing remarks concluded with a valid and frank statement: "We have had a very exciting meeting and our symposium will be a landmark even if it records our confused perception of the future of genetics and human biology." The 16 contributed papers range from "Cultural Change and Its Relevance for Human Genetics" to "Genetics in an Oocyte," Three papers were concerned with immunology and three with cancer, indicating the weight of these areas in current research. Each contributor was assigned an area compatible with his expertise, and each contribution had a broader than usual view of the relationship between genetics and the area. Frank discussions follow each presentation and illuminate each area, highlighting differences of opinions among Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Spring 1981 | 505 experts. In three general discussions, questions are raised, speculations presented , and doubts expressed. The participants in this symposium behaved as though their comments would not be recorded. I strongly recommend this volume not only to human geneticists but also to all of the others in genetics looking for a model on how to organize a stimulating symposium and how to stir the muddy waters in which the frontiers are hiding. TL· First Fifty Years at tL·Jackson Laboratory. By Jean Holstein. Bar Harbor, Me.: Jackson Laboratory, 1979. Pp. 231+xiii. $5.00. The number of free-standing world-class research institutes can be counted on the fingers of not more than two hands. The Jackson Laboratory occupies an index finger. This history of its first 50 years could have been presented as an unfinished drama in three acts with an extraordinary leading man in C. C. Little, the founder, a superb supporting cast over the years in its staff, two near catastrophes in the Great Depression and the Great Fire, and finally fulfillment. Instead, the author has presented a history with facts, dignity, and a proper balance between the origin and growth of the Jax Lab and its contribution to cancer research and the many facets of mammalian genetics. Above all is the emphasis on the mouse and those essential mammalian genetics reagents, the inbred mouse...


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