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A book of life

  1. Feb 1, 2014 #1
    I started reading 'Genome' by Matt Ridley thinking it would answer my questions of what genes, DNA, etc are, but I found myself frustrated with its approach. He only gives a short outline of where chromosomes and genes reside (in nuclei of cells) in the preface but there's no clear explanation for DNA or ribosomes. Besides the preface was just 4 pages and he immediately in the first chapter jumps into talking about RNA replicating and proteins synthesizing and what not. Without giving a proper clear explanation of what each thing is and where it lies in the body.

    So now I'm looking for a proper book that dispenses with the frills and provides an exact picture of what each thing is, where it lies, and how it interacts. I don't mind frills as long as the technical content is first systematically addressed or at least addressed exhaustively as it comes up in the narrative. But 'Genome' is terrible at this. So now I'm looking for a recommendation for an alternative book. Help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    I got This book from a quick google search
  4. Feb 2, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think there exists something like a clear "position" of the molecules listed. They either are in the nuclei, or outside, and to some extent they are freely floating.

    Compare discussion in this recent thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=622587

    Besides, Genome is a popular science book, not intended to be a systematic lecture.
  5. Feb 2, 2014 #4
    When I wrote about 'where things are in the body' I meant in terms of whether they lie in cells, and if so what part of the cell, etc. I want to learn about the chemical compositions also. I've realised that maybe what I need is an introductory textbook to the subject. But really basic, nothing too complex. Any suggestions?

    My complaint with 'Genome' is that to really follow and enjoy the content you have to know the stuff beforehand - and then what is the point of reading a popular book at all if you know the subject?
  6. Feb 2, 2014 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know the book, so I can be wrong, but from experience I know that often things left out don't matter -which is why they are left out.

    But obviously if you were looking for something else, you don't have to like the approach :wink:
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