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Open Badges Web report

An introduction to genetic diseases

Basil Safwat

Citation and License

Genome Biology 2000, 1:reports213  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-1-reports213

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:4 November 1999
Published:17 March 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd


Based on one of the Institute's publications, this site has a collection of features dealing with different areas of genetic research, and is an interesting and useful piece of 'popular science'. The site addresses some of the ethical issues that surround testing for genetic diseases. The language is pitched at non-specialist adults, although the site might be of use to undergraduates and of interest to scientists in all fields. The design of the site is very professional, with some really slick graphics, and the writing of all contributing authors is both entertaining and stimulating. If you prefer your publications in print format, you can download the PDF.


The site is structured in the same way as the original print publication and is divided into chapters and topics; each page has a chapter menu down the side and there are lots of navigation pointers at the bottom of the page, making it very easy to navigate.

Reporter's comments


This report was published in 1991 and is many years out of date. But as it deals with the basic concepts behind genetic research, it is still useful.

Best feature

A wonderful wall chart explains, in a well laid out, engaging and serious manner, the underlying genetics, techniques and theory used to target and treat a genetic disease. All technical words are linked to the glossary.

Worst feature

The publication has simply been taken from its printed form and put on the web 'as is' so does not take full advantage of the wonders of web technology.

Wish list

Some form of search facility would be nice, even if it were just in the form of an index-type search.

Related websites

Other introductions to genetic research can be found at Your genes, your choices, Primer of molecular genetics and To know ourselves.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.