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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685

Genet. Mol. Biol. vol.30 no.4 São Paulo  2007 



DNA without secrets and mysteries – a review of DNA Segredos & Mistérios, by Solange Bento Farah



DNA Segredos & Mistérios. Farah, SF (2007), Editora Sarvier, São Paulo, 560 pp, R$ 168,00, ISBN: 978-85-7378-173-1

Unmasking the secrets and facing the mysteries of the "molecule of life" – the genetic structure that initiated the fascinating subject of molecular biology – is not a simple task. The author, in the second edition of the successful revised and expanded book, continues to accept the challenge of explaining this fascinating molecule and its implications for modern biology. Numerous publications on the subject of DNA are available to interested parties, some are of a technical nature and directed at those with a specialized interest in the subject, others whose content is so basic that it does not provide an adequate understanding of the field. This book, by not sacrificing scientific rigor, addresses the interests and needs of readers with a great variety of professional and academic backgrounds.

Using an easy-to-follow, inspiring writing style – one which is as if a conversation was taking place between the author and the reader – and introducing fundamental concepts, the author makes available to the reader a wide range of up-to-date scientific information. The approach taken transforms the technical complexity of the subject into an accessible source of information for all readers, regardless of their previous subject knowledge.

In this edition, apart from the substantial update of the basic chapters, additional chapters have been included, reflecting new developments in the rapidly changing field of molecular biology. Thirteen chapters are presented, starting with the relationship between cells and DNA, a discussion of the human genome and its implications for the future, a diagnosis of genetic illnesses, a biotechnological study of microorganisms, and genetically modified plants and animals. Some fascinating subjects which appeared shortly after the first edition of the book was published in 1997, such as techniques of DNA analysis, genetic expression, cloning and genetic therapy are presented in the second edition with sufficient clarity.

In order to facilitate further reading and exploration on this subject, the author has included a detailed glossary and nearly one hundred instructive websites at the end of the book. This confirms the care and effort that has gone into writing this book.


Sergio Olavo Pinto da Costa
Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas,
Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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