This fifth volume continues in the tradition set by the preceding four. It is a compendium of excellent and timely review articles on various phases of medical genetics. The first chapter by Dr. Rene Dubos discusses an old problem in genetics: the roles of heredity and environment in shaping human life, past, present, and future. Dubos feels that man's life has been strongly affected by improved nutrition and control of childhood diseases, but substances that alter gene expression (hormones, antibiotics) will continue to mold, somewhat, man's basic genetic endowment; he also feels that technological advances necessary in an increasingly crowded urbanized world will still have to be determined in the light of man's genotype.
In Chapter 2, Dr. D. J. Weatherall reviews the thalassemias. Weather-all first discusses the genetic control of hemoglobin synthesis and then presents thalassemia as a hemoglobinopathy, with a clear classification and discussion of the various sub-types