This book is an excellent review of the facts of human chromosomes, gathered in the five years after the discovery of the first abnormal human karyotypes. The book is particularly interesting because it was written by two of the discoverers of trisomy 21, the cellular basis of "mongolism." Since that report in January 1959, Turpin and Lejeune have remained in the forefront of human cytogenetics and have kept in touch with the international developments of the new science. Although the literature of the last year by necessity could not be included in the monograph, the important milestones of human cytogenetics are well outlined.
In the first part of the book, the history of attempts to establish the number of human chromosomes before 1956 is well told and makes fascinating reading. The modern techniques used in human cytogenetics are described and an entire chapter is devoted to the normal human karyotype.