Exploring Personal Genomics by Joel Dudley and Konrad Karczewski

Exploring Personal GenomicsExploring Personal Genomics by Joel T Dudley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An abysmally written book with a lot of good information. Very little of this book is intelligible to the lay reader, but it covers a wide variety of topics related to genomics including defining various important terms, describing methodology for gene sequencing, legal and privacy issues for personal genomic testing, limitations in the field, genetic genealogy, and so forth. I am not a scientist, but I am quite sure the treatment is too general and simplified for the experts in the field. Still, with some patience and frequent use of the Glossary, you can probably find some information useful to you if you have had your genome sequenced or are thinking about it.

I say it is badly written for many reasons:
1. It is replete with technical jargon, much of which is not defined when first used, thus rendering it almost unreadable to the layperson (although it does have a glossary at the end);
2. It is full of grammar errors. (“… marked the origination the beginning of the …”; “with regards to…”)
3. Many wrong word errors. (“Affect” for “effect”, “infer” for “imply”);
4. The typeface on the many graphics is too small to read (I had to use a magnifying glass in addition to my most powerful reading glasses) and many text inserts are printed on a dark gray background making them difficult to read, too;
5. Many graphics are borrowed from other sources where they were rendered in color, but were printed in the book in black and white, making them useless. For example, on p. 95 there’s a world map covered with pie charts representing the distribution various Y haplogroups, identified using 18 different colors – all of which come out here as various shades of gray.
6. Lastly, and this is not the fault of the authors, it is already outdated.
The book is so full of mistakes like these that the reader cannot be confident the scientific information is accurate. The overall feel is slapdash and unprofessional.

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