You may find that in your family there are relatives who have suffered specific health problems and these problems tend to run in the family. What you do not know is who or how these problems get spread from one relative to another. Many people do not understand their genetic or family tree but doctors today have carried considerate research to explain how such illnesses get to be passed from one generation to another. Here is a detailed insight into genetics.
1. Genes and Chromosomes
Every human being is unique especially if you consider the chemical blueprints that determine one’s looks and body functions. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) carries these blueprints and comprises of subunits known as nucleotides. There are sections of the DNA that carries information used to make body proteins and these sections are known as genes. A human body is said to carry more than 25,000 genes that create body features in an individual such as curly hair, black hair or brown eyes. Genes are usually found and neatly packaged within chromosomes.
2. Laws of Inheritance
The law of inheritance can help to explain how a certain genetic trait or disorder is passed from one generation to another. A human body has 46 chromosomes that exist in pairs called autosomes (23 pairs). A child gets each of these autosomes from each parent during conception, and the chromosomes keep on duplicating to be shared in each cell that the child develops while in the womb. Since genes are found in the chromosomes, a child gets a copy of the paternal and maternal gene and also inherits a sex chromosome of each parent.
3. Genetic Stability
It is very possible for genes to mutate or change, and gene mutation can either be harmful or beneficial to the body. The only mutation that can be passed on from a parent to a child is egg or sperm mutation. The good thing is that there is a possibility of the body recognizing harmful mutations and destroy them, but this is not always the case. Normally, DNA should never change throughout a person’s life, and this is genetic stability because even if your blood count or cholesterol level may change, genes are not expected to change whatsoever.
4. Genetic Variation
People are born with genetic differences known as genetic variations and these help in differentiating one individual from another. Most genetic and trait variations are harmless and allow the evolution of different species and easy adaptation to environmental challenges.
5. Genes And Environment
The genetic makeup of a person does not change throughout life, but changes in the environment may influence a person’s traits and genes because genes only work in the framework of the environment.
6. Family History
Once a person learns about his family medical history through a genetic test, it becomes easy to reduce the risk of health problems in the future. For instance, a person can avoid smoking, eat healthily and exercise regularly after finding out that heart disease runs in the family and thus reduce the risk.
7. Formation Of Abnormal Chromosomes
When a cell is dividing, an error can occur and cause an embryo to receive lesser or too many chromosomes, and this will lead to genetic problems such as trisomy or monosomy. A child can then be born suffering from Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome or Turner syndrome among others.
Gene mutation is the origin of cancer-causing genes (Oncogenes), but luckily today, doctors can use sophisticated tests to identify gene mutation and control the risk involved. This is the best development the scientists have brought to the world because they have helped to increase the odds of survival for many people.
Understanding genetics is a little bit complicated, but this information is all you need to read and appreciate how your family tree came to be. Some may think that it is a form of a curse that brought a certain illness in the family, but this is all a matter of sharing genes from parents and the unfortunate genetic process known as gene mutation. Luckily scientists are not resting because they are continuing to provide solutions for these and other medical problems.