Instead of spring break I get to read up on 4 chapters of Genetics! Its okay, but I am having a little bit of a hard time grasping some concepts at this point. I know some of you have taken this before. Are there any resources (web or books) you can recommend? Plz do share if possible. Hope you all are having a great semester

Hi dkclayton,

Genetics … it was my absolute favorite class in my post-bac! (I actually want to do an MD/PhD and my PhD in genetics.) Some of the concepts are indeed confusing, though.

I don’t know if you’re a flashcard person, but if you are, I made online cards for each unit of my genetics class on If you have an iPhone, you can import them to your phone via an app called flashcards++. (I think the app is $3.99, which, if you think about it, is the price of approximately 2 packs of index cards, so it’s totally worth it.) If you don’t have an iPhone, you can always access the cards online from your computer and study them that way. Here’s the link to my user name and card sets: Lorien’s Quizlet Dashboard. I have flashcards for other courses up there too, so the ones you specifically want to look for are the Biology 240 cards. There are three sets (Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3), plus a set for amino acid abbreviations (we had to memorize those too).

I don’t know what textbook you are using, or how helpful it is. (As a former textbook editor, I know there are good ones out there, and absolutely atrocious ones, and professors don’t always choose the ones that are most helpful, unfortunately!) My professor actually didn’t require a textbook; he gave us two optional textbooks that we could buy if we wanted to. I bought both. One was new and cost a pretty penny, but the one I actually liked much better was an older book, called “An Introduction to Genetic Analysis.” It’s the 7th edition, by Griffiths. I bought the book, because I like books, but the whole text is also available online, for free (!) on NCBI’s bookshelf. Here’s the specific link: An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. The one thing about the online edition is that you can’t just “flip” through it; you have to search for your terms and then it gives you results that you can read. It can be a little cumbersome, but it’s not that bad once you get used to it. The amazing thing is that all the text, plus all the graphs, figures, images, etc. are included, and you can enlarge the visuals to see them better. You can also print anything that you want to. If you do buy the book, you can get it on Amazon for super cheap. If I remember, it was around $15. One of the best things about this book, in my opinion (and in that of my professor), is that it has amazing practice problems. Some of them are solved, which is helpful. But you can also get the entire solution manual on Amazon, again for very cheap - I think I purchased it for $10-$15. This was super helpful for complex Punnett square practice, linkage problems, mapping, lod scores, etc.

I don’t know about online videos, but I just did a search on YouTube and came up with a bunch of options. You could try that if you’re an audiovisual learner.

Anyway, I know that was a long answer, but I hope it was helpful!

Another quick note - if you are especially confused about a specific concept, feel free to PM me your questions/confusion and I’ll see what I can do to help.

  • Lorien

Lorien thanks a bunch! I actually thought of you as I was posting this since I did read your blog on the fruit fly a while back. Instead of the fly we are working with dumpy and uncoordinated C. elegans. They are hermaphrodites which makes things more complicated in our crosses for lab. I too am enjoying the class, even with a “too smart to teach” kind of professor. Again thanks for offering to help and I’ll definitely be looking into those books

You’re very welcome! And like I said, if you have issues with a specific concept (or multiple ones), feel free to PM me. Always happy to help - at least when it comes to something I know!

Best of luck with those hermaphrodites!