Birth defects are caused by three factors; chromosomal abnormalities, single-gene defects, and multifactorial influences. During conception a fetus receives its genetic makeup, birth defects that come from genetic causes are usually brought about during fertilization. In order for the birth defect to occur these four procedures could have taken place: chromosomal abnormalities, large-scale duplication, deletions of chromosomal segments, or entire chromosomes. (Lobo, Ingrid, Ph.D., and Kira Zhaurova, M.S.) Single-gene defects majority of the time are inherited, unlike chromosomal abnormalities which is caused by genetics. Phenylketnouria (PKU), is a disease that is commonly known to be inherited.
Single-gene defects can also be common within different racial and ethnic groups. Take sickle-cell anemia for instance, ...
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Lobo, Ingrid, Ph.D., and Kira Zhaurova, M.S. "Birth Defects: Causes and Statistics." Nature.com.
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