Cystic Fibrosis

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Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a disorder causing the body to release extremely thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and pancreas, leading to problems with breathing and digestion, infection, and ultimately death. Abnormal secretion of sweat and saliva glands is also characteristic of CF. This disease a hereditary disorder of the exocrine glands that is characterized by respiratory and digestive problems and the most common inherited disease among Caucasians, affecting 3,600 live births in the Canada alone. CF affects men and women equally, but affects white people more than black people. This disease mainly affects children and young adults and is diagnosed by the age of three. Due to the advances in genetic research, diagnosis has been made on some adults that have mild forms of the illness and even on fetuses. In the lungs, this thick mucus on the respiratory tracts blocks airways and impedes natural infection-fighting mechanisms found in the lungs resulting in an increase of respiratory infections. Eventually, the body’s immune system will turn against its own lung tissue resulting in lung failure. CF is carried as an autosomal recessive trait. This implies that in order to exhibit CF, both the mother and the father must carry and pass the defected gene to the child. Through carrier screening, researchers have determined that one in twenty-five Caucasians carry the gene for CF. Each time two carriers on CF conceive, there is a 25 percent chance that their child will have CF, a 50 percent chance the child will be a carrier of the defected CF gene, and a 25 percent chance that the child will be a non-carrier of the gene. With such a small percent resulting in non-carriers, it is no wonder CF is the most common inherited disease ... ... middle of paper ... ...eved November 30, 2004, from Eubanks, M. (2001). Gene therapy for CF. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109(1), 1. Questia database, Goldberg, R. M. (1994). Rage against the cure: The health hazards of pharmaceutical price controls. Policy Review, (68), 34+. Questia database, Mayo Clinic. (2004). CF. Retrieved November 30, 2004, from Rockett, J. C., Lynch, C. D., & Buck, G. M. (2004). Biomarkers for assessing reproductive development and health: part 1-pubertal development. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112(1), 105+. Questia database, Sosnowski, K. (2000). Genetic research: are more limitations needed in the field?. Journal of Law and Health, 15(1), 121+. Questia database,

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