Best Books on Genetics

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Best Books on Genetics

The science of genes has always been a widely debated topic. The biology and research of gene editing, mutant gene, and screening have come a long way. From the era of discovery of the double helix in 1953 to CRISPR technology, scientists have come up with varied inventions in genetic engineering. The breakthrough in modern gene detecting has been genome editing; many researchers have argued that this is unethical and can cause undeniable complications for future generations.

Synthetic biology has taken the space of traditional gene testing; this is the process through which the genome of an existing organism can be altered to create a completely new species. Considering that this technology can revolutionize the human DNA and may even produce stronger genus in the potentially highly advanced world. But are these practices morally ethical for the survival of humanity?

To understand the working nature of genes and their complex coding in the human body, we suggest remarkable reads that will divulge the secrets of genetics. Following are some of the widely acclaimed books by award-winning authors from around the world on the new dawn of genetic engineering.

1. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

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Walter Isaacson has earlier pioneered the best-selling book Steve Jobs, so it’s expected that this straightforward account about the life of Jennifer Doudna will also inspire and educate the masses. This story traces the origins of gene editing and runs a parallel narration about the research work done by Jennifer Doudna and her team. She has been a recipient of the Nobel Prize for groundbreaking research on CRISPR technology.

The book has been written with extensive notes and well-planned chapters. Even a layman who doesn’t have any knowledge about gene editing and the science behind DNA can understand the scientific knowledge imparted by the book. The core of the chapters is also somewhat argumentative about the moral ethics of gene editing. However, it ends on a positive note with reference to the current situation of COVID-19 and the race to find the perfect vaccine for stronger immunity via gene research.

2. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

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Celebrated author Richard Dawkins has written the worldwide bestseller from the point of view of a human gene. This book has been adapted into several languages and is widely acclaimed for its simple narration. The author has explained mind-blowing phenomena with uncomplicated analogies. The chapters imply that genes and not organisms are self-replicating entities. It also explains the spread of mutant genes that completely change the DNA structure.

If you are a non-scientific reader, this book is tailor-made to suit the bookshelf. It has been written in a manner that will teach unexplainable things about the human gene and the evolutionarily stable strategy in an effortless way. It comes with informational footnotes and endnotes that are easily understandable.

3. Heredity and Hope : The Case for Genetic Screening by Ruth Schwartz Cowan

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Ruth Schwartz Cowan has bought the widely debated topic of genetic screening out in the open. She has always been a keen supporter of this prenatal diagnosis technique. According to her, this modern technology helped a multitude of parents detect all risk-based genetic diseases in their fetuses early on. This controversial book comes with extensive research and case studies from the readers to get enlightened with. The author has expertly argued against the opponents of genetic screening with her sound knowledge of the subject. However, there are a few points that may be sensitive, for example, the topic of aborting fetuses at an early stage of pregnancy when they are found to be differently able.

This book is an excellent guide for readers who want to know more about genetic testing. It can also become a comprehensive study material for young parents who are planning on expanding into healthy family life.

4. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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A Pulitzer Prize award-winning author and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee has compiled the vast and complex world of genes within 600 pages. It is an extensive guide about the history of genetics with an impact on human personality, identity, fate, and choices. It also divulges the secret of how genes can affect the future of humanity if they are manipulated. The author has also attempted to describe complex gene behavior with his family members with personal anecdotes. He also argues about race and sex, relating them to intricate making and understanding of the gene structure.

He also debunks several theories by the eugenics, Nazis, and other left-wing parties precisely avoiding technical terms. If you are interested in reading about how genes can determine the future of oncology, drug development, and genetics-based therapy, then this book is an excellent read.

5. Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves by George Church and Ed Regis

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George Church and Ed Regis put an interesting well-research study about the invention of the synthetic gene, which has the power to even resurrect extinct animals. This has been the most revolutionary discovery of science to date. Through this specific genome editing, the traditional structure of any living organism can be modified to create new species. This means there is a possibility of future humans becoming super strong, having a healthy life span, living longer without getting afflicted with deadly diseases, and surviving extreme climatic conditions.

The book also projects scenarios about highly intelligent beings that will detect arsenic in water and produce unsoiled petroleum. It also argues about the cellular revolution and the implications of this scientific invention on socio-political factors. If you are looking for scientifically based new ideas about the future of genetic editing, then this read will not disappoint.

6. The $1000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine by Kevin Davies

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Kevin Davies is a science journalist who has written on an interesting subject of the future genome – personalized medicines based on one’s genetic variant. In this book, he astonishingly argues about the method of genome sequencing to determine the kind of diseases that one will suffer in the future. He puts forth theories that employers and insurance companies may subject individuals to genomic sequencing tests to verify their medical history. A gene sequencing will come up with results that will show that one is prone to heart disease, Alzheimer or any form of cancer beforehand. Doctors will then be able to prescribe medicines in advance by just looking at the medical records of genome testing.

The author intends to educate the masses about the prospects of a medical breakthrough with genome sequencing. If you want to gain knowledge about personal genome coding and how human ancestry portals are already providing data to scientific researchers, then this book is an eye-opener.

7. The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritence by Nessa Carey

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Nessa Carey, a virologist, has complied extensive research with her book on the workings of molecular biology. The book explains the need for an in-depth study of genetic mapping, which will determine a lot of physical factors unfolding on Earth. The introduction to the science of epigenetics, the importance of evolutionary biology, trait inheritance, and complex therapies related to epigenetics is well explained through detailed chapters.

If you are keen to understand the workings of DNA and RNA, then this book is the ideal choice. It is written in layman’s language and widely touches on why inventions in genetics are important, the workings of cellular structures, and molecular details with great analogies.

8. The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes

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Bryan Sykes is a genetics professor who has written this bestseller about the genes that are passed down from generation through the matriarchal side. The author bases his research on the revolutionary discovery of Mitochondrial DNA, i.e., generations sharing the DNA of a common matriarch ancestor. Hence the bases his studies on the evolution of European DNA, which originated from seven ancient matriarchs. The book then comprehensively describes each of these perceived Eve’s in detail.

The only drawback from this read is that the author portrays that all races originate from European ancestry. This could become controversial since it sounds a bit fictional. However, with interesting notes and analogies, the author has put forth an interesting point in the scientific world.

9. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley

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Matt Ridley, a multiple-time nominated author of various books based on genetics, has written an excellent study on the science of the genome. He has authored this book with the view of presenting genetics to the common man in a fluid, precise and comprehensive manner. It does not divulge into the technical aspects of genetics research but has all the knowledgeable elements regarding the biological and evolutionary factors of human genes.

The author also tries to explain how external factors and behaviors can affect DNA; the book has some intelligent arguments on the structuring and sequencing of genes. If you are looking for a read that does not preach and is not too philosophical, then this practical guide to genetics must be the one you pick.

10. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson

Nobel Laureate Dr. James D. Watson gives a first-hand account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. He and his colleague Francis Crick revolutionized the scientific field with their challenging biochemistry. It is a captivating case of history and the events that led to the remarkable moment in the genetic phenomenon. The book chronicles the frustrations, the political blockages, the intense hours put into the research work, and the final joy of discovering the DNA pattern. It is written effortlessly without any technical implications of scientific data and charts.

The book is a sincere mirror towards the blood and sweat of two profound, intelligent men who unlocked the code of the DNA structure. It makes for an interesting read to understand the background of genetic studies.


Genes are a built-in code to beat bad weather, survive disease and protect natural immunity. The origins of humanity have been unlocked with the study of genetics. The future of this scientific knowledge being used for human superiority among the species is approaching super speed. Thus, keeping in touch with how genes work with these phenomenal books is the need for the day.

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