Human Genetic Screening

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Imagine the idea that you and your spouse are expecting a baby. You know that you both are carriers for ADA, a rare genetic immunodeficiency disease caused by lack of the enzyme adenosine deaminase. If your child received copies of the allele from both of you, he will have persistent infections and a high risk of early cancer, and may die in his first months of life (Grace par 10). Do you want to know if your child has the disease? If you do, you will undergo genetic screening, the testing for genetic diseases (Encyclopedia.com). The Technical Aspects of Genetic Screening Genetic screening began in 1934, in Norway, when a mother of two mentally handicapped children told a relative, a chemist, that her children's diapers had an odd smell. The chemist did some testing on the children's urine and found a biochemical abnormality, the children's urine contained too much of one chemical and not enough of another. They had inherited PKU, phenylketonuria, a disorder that causes the lack of ability to metabolize phnylalaine. Children suffering from this disorder are put on very strict diets in order to avoid mental retardation (Burge par 2). Genetic screening is now used every day, when an amniocentesis is performed the fetus has just undergone genetic screening. Scientists can detect disease-baring mutations, test for genetic predisposition to diseases, and discover some physical characteristics and behavior traits that lie within your genes, all through genetic screening (White par 2). Many types of genetic tests are available today. The most common type is newborn screening. Blood samples of newborns are tested for abnormal or missing gene products, some of these tests look for abnormal arrangements of the chemical bases in the ... ... middle of paper ... ...w.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEPC/NIH/ Website #2: Analytical Genetic Testing Center. "What is a paternity test?" Obtained from the WWW: http://www.geneticid.com/WE01001.htm Website # 3: DNA Learning Center. "DNA Fingerprinting." Obtained from the WWW: http://vector.cshl.org/resources/aboutdnafingerprinting.html Website #4: Encyclopedia.com.1994. Obtained from the WWW: http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/04986.html Website #5:Healthline Magazine. "Genetic Screening. " August 1994. Obtained from the WWW: http://www.healthline.org/articles/oldfiles/hl940804 Website #6: Human Body. "DNA in Criminal Investigations." Obtained from WWW: http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/ap/dynamichuman2/content/humbody/reading24.mhtml Website #7: Human Genome Education Model Project II. "Genetic Testing Fact Sheet." Obtained from WWW: http://www.dml.georgetown.edu/hugem/FGT.htm

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