Human genetic screening is a process that is very complex and very powerful. Genetic screening may detect some inherited traits that may later on cause a person to have a disease that may alter his/her life. Human life, as with any other organism, is b uilt with cells. A human cell consists of forty-six chromosomes, which are paired into twenty-three different pairs. Each one of these chromosomes carries thousands of genes. Each gene consists of information that codes for a particular trait. This information is determined by the DNA found in that gene. A gene for one trait may have various alleles that will make one person appear a little different than that of a person with a different allele. An example would be of a person with brown hair. They would have a dominant allele for hair color, where as a person with blond hair would have two recessive alleles for hair color. It is possible to have a large number of different alleles for each trait, which is why people look so different from on e another (Reilly, Genetics, Law and Social Policy. p. 7).
ÒAlthough each person does have some variation in DNA, all members of the human species carry more or less the same set of DNAÓ (Griffiths, An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. p. 4). Because there is such a huge number of genes it is a very complicat ed process to isolate and identify the information in the DNA fragments. In these fragments it is possible for researchers to:
Ò isolate and characterize at the molecular level single genes that are responsible for inherited genetic diseases. Genetic ill health can be divided into three major types. The first type is inherited genetic diseases caused by abnormal forms of genes that are passed on from on...
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.... Complexity Limits the powers of prediction. Feb. 1, 1996: p. 390.
Griffiths, Anthony, Jeffrey miller, David Suzuki, Richard Lewontin, William Gelbart, An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, Sixth Edition. W.H. Freeman and Company, 1996: p. 4,5-6.
Koenig, Barbara, The New York Times. Gene Tests: What You Know Can Hurt You. April 6,1996: p. 15
Lehrman, Sally, Nature. Genetic testing needs more checks. Nov. 9, 1995: p. 121.
Masood, Ehsan, Nature. Gene tests: who benefits from risk? . Feb. 1, 1996: P. 389.
Reilly, Phillip, Genetics, Law, and Social Policy. President and fellows of Harvard College. 1977: p. 7.
The World Book Encyclopedia, 1993 Edition, 1993 World Book Inc. 1993: p. 85.
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