Questions about heredity
Nowadays, practically all magazines write on genetic research, genes, heredity, DNA, etc. Those words now belong to our everyday vocabulary, which shows that those terms stand for set or unchangeable matters, or matters belonging to our essence. Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary describes gene as ‘a part of a cell in a living thing which controls its physical characteristics, growth and development. Genes can change and reproduce themselves and are passed on from one generation to another, for example from human parents to their children’. Genetic research refers to a test which determinates if a certain condition is genetic or hereditary.
Of course, this raises many questions, often of the ethic or psychological type:
- Which diseases or conditions are hereditary?
- What are my chances of having inherited a disease or of having passed them on to my children?
- Does a genetic test tell my future?
- Do I really want to know all this?
- Are there ways to prevent this?
- Can hereditary diseases be cured?
- What are the possibilities of gene therapy?
- Am I obliged to tell the result of the genetic test to my family?
- Can anyone be tested for frequently occurring hereditary risks?
- If I appear to be a carrier, can I be refused for life insurance registration?
- Can I afford such a test?
Obviously not all questions can be answered unambiguously. In genetics, margins and probabilities are often used. Questions are always answered in the most appropriate way, based on the available knowledge and acquired experience.
Last updated: 26 June 2015 - 09:41
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