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Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide – A Review


I flipped through the pages of the graphic novel Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide. It looked to be amusing. I have previously read graphic novels based on Shakespeare and they tended to be entertaining shortened versions of the long play. I thought that Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide was going to fit into the same category. I was only partially correct. Yes, the illustrations by Oliver Pugh were fun, but the written portion of the book by Cath Ennis was as full and complete a summary of epigenetics as I have come across. For me, the book was a mini-sized text that could be used as a primer to epigenetics.

I was particularly impressed that Ennis had included the names of the scientists who made the significant discoveries. I'm from that old school where we learned the names of the giants as well as how their contributions helped develop the field. This book follows that pattern for epigenetics.

The other aspect I really liked about this book was that it presented a very broad definition of epigenetics. Science is, in part, communicated and explained through operational definitions. I have seen where epigenetics may be defined ultimately as phenotype, or where it is the nurture portion of the nature/nurture deliberation. Can it be defined as the control of gene expression and how genes are turned on or off? Does epigenetics require a heritable change, or can it be changes in individual somatic cells that is wiped clean in the germ cells? When we see speakers or television presenters using different definitions we can be confused. I am sure you will find that in Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide, you will feel very satisfied with the broader interpretation used in the book.

If you see this graphic guide in the bookstore, buy it. It is a compact yet comprehensive guide to the current knowledge of epigenetics presented in an appealing format for students and non-scientists alike.

You can also find me on - @GWardis

Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide – A Review

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