Chapter 7: Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology
Chapter 7: Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology
Genetics is "the branch of biology concerned with the study of heredity and variation”. Biotechnology is “the development of techniques for the application of biological processes to the production of materials of use in medicine and industry.” Development is “the complex process of growth and maturation that occurs in living organisms.” (Oxford Dictionary of Biology, 4th ed., 2000). This chapter also includes the study of “omics”, a suffix used to indicate studies in several fields performed on a genome-wide scale, such as proteomics or metabolomics. The more applied aspects of biotechnology and genetics such as plant or animal breeding and industrial biotechnology are not included.
All of the subjects covered in this chapter overlap with other chapters. For instance, molecular biologists study DNA while geneticists study genes so Chapter 6, “Molecular and Cellular Biology”, should also be checked for information sources. Research in development may be done by geneticists, cell biologists, or physiologists, so other related resources are found in Chapter 11, “Anatomy and Physiology”.
- American Genetic Association (AGA). 2030 SE Marine Science Dr., Newport, OR 97365. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.theaga.org.
Founded in 1903, 750 members. Emphasis on applied areas of genetics. Publishes Journal of Heredity. Formerly American Breeders Association.
- American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.ashg.org.
Founded in 1948, 6,361members in 1999. Physicians, genetic counselors, researchers interested in human genetics. Publishes American Journal of Human Genetics. Web site primarily for society information.
- British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB). MRC Brain Development Programme, Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London, New Hunt’s House (4th Floor), Grey’s Hospital Campus, London SE1 9RT. URL: http://bsdb.org/.
1,000 members. Aims “to represent developmental biology to external organizations in the UK and Europe.” Organizes meetings and publishes newsletter. Web site contains society information and list of useful links for developmental biologists and teachers.
- Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB). c/o Mrs. Wafaa H. Antonious, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences, 17 Dossetter Way, Ottawa, ONT, Canada K1G 4S3. E-Mail: Contact@csbmcb.ca. URL: http://www.csmb-scbm.ca/.
Society for professional biochemists, molecular biologists, and geneticists in Canada. Publishes quarterly Bulletin. Holds annual meeting. Originally called the Canadian Biochemical Society; merged with the Canadian Society of Cellular and Molecular Biology in 1992 and with the Genetics Society of Canada in 2010.
- European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG). c/o Vienna Medical Academy, Alser Strasse 4, 1090 Vienna, Austria. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.eshg.org.
Founded 1967. “Promotes research in basic and applied human and medical genetics and facilitates contact between all persons who share these aims.” Publishes European Journal of Human Genetics.
- Genetics Society (GS). Roslin BioCentre, Wallace Bldg., Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK. Phone: 44 131 2006392. Fax: 44 131 2006394. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.genetics.org.uk.
Founded in 1919. Approximately 2000 members. The “world’s first society devoted to the study of mechanisms of inheritance.” For all active geneticists in the U.K. interested in research or teaching. Publishes Heredity and Genes and Development. Formerly: Genetical Society. Web site includes information on careers as well as society information.
- Genetics Society of America (GSA). 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.genetics-gsa.org.
Founded in 1931, 4,100 members. Includes all areas of genetics. Publishes Genetics and G3, an Open Access journal. Awards GSA medal and Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal. Annual conference. Web site has education resources and policy statements as well as society information.
- International Society of Developmental Biologists (ISDB). c/o Douglas Sipp, Business Mgr., RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, 2-2-3 Minatojima Minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.developmental-biology.org.
Founded 1911. 900 members, both individual and corporate. Scientists from 31 countries. Promotes the study of developmental biology by encouraging research and communication in the field. Organizes conferences and workshops. Publishes Mechanisms of Development and Gene Expression Patterns. Web site has links to other societies and developmental biology databases as well as membership information. Formerly called the International Institute of Embryology. Absorbed the Developmental Biology Section, International Union of Biological Sciences.
- Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists (JSDB). Center for Developmental Biology, RIKIEN Kobe, 2-2-3 Minatojima-minami Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.jsdb.jp/english/index.html.
Founded in 1968. 1,300 members. Professional society for developmental biologists, researchers and educators. Publishes Development, and Growth and Differentiation (DGD). Web site primarily for membership information.
- Society for Developmental Biology (SDB). 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.sdbonline.org.
Founded 1939. 2,100 members. Professional society of biologists interested in problems of development and growth of organisms. Publishes Developmental Biology. Web site contains membership information and conference information, and links to developmental biology sites. Formerly Society for the Study of Development and Growth.
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- Mouse Genome Informatics. Bar Harbor, ME: Jackson Laboratory, 1980s- . www.informatics.jax.org.
Maintained by the Jackson Laboratory, a major mouse mutant repository and center for mouse research, this site “is the international database resource for the laboratory mouse, providing integrated genetic, genomic, and biological data to facilitate the study of human health and disease." (from the Web site). Includes the Mouse Genome Database, the Gene Expression Database and the Mouse Tumor Database projects, among others.
- Xenbase: Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis Biology and Genomics Resource. http://www.xenbase.org/common/.
A “database of information pertaining to the cell and developmental biology of the frog, Xenopus”. Also contains genetic and genomic information, as well as directories, methods, links to databases and electronic journals, announcements of conferences and more.
- Davidson, Duncan and Richard Baldock. The e-Mouse Atlas Project. www.emouseatlas.org.
This site contains two projects, EMA, the e-Mouse Atlas (3-D anatomical atlas of mouse embryo development and histology) and EMAGE, the e-Mouse Atlas of Gene Expression, a "database of mouse gene expression where, uniquely, the gene expression is mapped into the EMA 3-D space and can be queried spatially". The site includes tutorials and a glossary of terms to aid new users.
- McKusick, Victor A. OMIM--Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2005- . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih/omim.
The online, freely-accessible version of Mendelian Inheritance in Man, a handbook that features catalogs of human genes, phenotypes, and genetic disorders. For physicians and advanced students, although it is accessible to the general public.
- Society for Developmental Biology. The Interactive Fly. http://www.sdbonline.org/fly/aimain/1aahome.htm.
"A cyberspace guide to Drosophila development and metazoan evolution" (from the Web site). This portal provides links to genes, tissue and organ development, and study aids for Drosophila. The site is hosted by the Society for Developmental Biology.
- WormBase Consortium. Wormbase. 2000- . http://www.wormbase.org/.
"WormBase is an international consortium of biologists and computer scientists dedicated to providing the research community with accurate, current, accessible information concerning the genetics, genomics and biology of C. elegans and related nematodes." (from the Web site). Includes news, resouces, and tools for researchers.
- The Zebrafish Model Organism Database. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. http://zfin.org.
Provides access to a wealth of information for researchers on this fish which is a major model organism for developmental studies. Database includes developmental atlases and dictionaries, genetic mutants and maps, nomenclature, publications, resources, conference information and directories of people in the field.
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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms. Bethesda, MD: National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2001- . http://www.genome.gov/glossary/index.cfm.
This free online dictionary provides audio definitions, illustrations, animations, and other resources for more than 200 terms. A text-only version is also available at the site. Also available as an iTunes app.
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- Sturtevant, A. H. A History of Genetics. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2001. 174 p. $21.00. ISBN 0879696079 (pa); 9780879696078 (pa).
A classic work on the early history of genetics first published in 1965. This new reprint edition has an accompanying Web site at http://www.esp.org/books/sturt/history.
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- BMC Bioinformatics. v. 1- , 2000- . London: BioMed Central. Frequently updated. Open Access. ISSN 1471-2105.
"An open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of the development, testing and novel application of computational and statistical methods for the modeling and analysis of all kinds of biological data, as well as other areas of computational biology." Articles available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbioinformatics.
- BMC Biotechnology. v. 1- , 2001- . London: BioMed Central. Frequently updated. Open Access. ISSN 1472-6750.
Publishes "articles on the manipulation of biological macromolecules or organisms for use in experimental procedures, cellular and tissue engineering or in the pharmaceutical, agricultural biotechnology and allied industries." Articles available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiotechnol.
- Nucleic Acids Research. v. 1- , 1974- . New York: Oxford University Press. Biweekly. Open Access. ISSN 0305-1048 (print).
"Publishes the results of leading edge research into physical, chemical, biochemical and biological aspects of nucleic acids and proteins involved in nucleic acid metabolism and/or interactions. " The first issue each year covers genetic, protein, and the July issue is devoted to genome databases. An Open Access journal. Articles are available at http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/.
- PLOS Genetics. v. 1- , 2005- . San Francisco, CA: Public Library of Science. Weekly. Open Access. ISSN 1553-7390 (print); 1553-7404 (online).
Publishes articles on genetics and genomics using human subjects and model organisms. In addition to research articles, the journal also publishes editorials, viewpoints, interviews, special reports, and review articles. Articles are available at http://www.plosgenetics.org/.