A single error in the DNA code can cause your body to make the wrong types of proteins. Those proteins go out into your body. Depending on the type of protein, what its job is, and how widespread it is in your body, it might not have any effect at all or could cause widespread chaos. While it’s possible to take medicine to cure common illnesses like the flu or bronchitis, genetic diseases are generally incurable. They’re literally written into the code of your body.
Genetic diseases are all caused by one or more errors in the parts of DNA that make proteins. If you have the genes that produce a genetic disease, it’s as much a part of you as your hair color or how many fingers you have. There are many different ways that genetic diseases can get passed down through generations. Here are some of the more common ways that genetic diseases can be inherited:
- Recessive Genetic Disorders: Recessive alleles will be ignored by your body if the other allele is normal; but if you have two recessive alleles, you will have the disease. Your body won’t have a backup normal allele to read the code from.
- Dominant Genetic Disorders: Genetic disorders are sometimes passed down as dominant alleles. These diseases are a bit scarier because you only need a single copy of the disease-causing allele in order to have the disease. It’s not possible to be only a carrier because if you have the disease-causing allele at all, you have the disease.
- Sex-Linked Genetic Disorders: Women possess two sex chromosomes, X and X, which they got from their mother and father. If a woman has a child, she will only be able to pass on an X chromosome to her offspring, since that’s the only type of chromosome she has to give. Men, on the other hand, have two different sex chromosomes—X and Y. Males get their X chromosome from their mothers (since that’s the only type of chromosome they can give), and their Y chromosomes come from their fathers. Women have an advantage because if one allele on the X chromosome is defective, they’ve got a backup copy on the other X chromosome. Men have no such advantage—if they have a defective allele on the X chromosome, they have no backup copy. They will have the disease.
- Chromosomal Disorders: When nondisjunction happens, an extra copy of a chromosome accidently gets put into a sperm or egg cell. That child will have three copies of a chromosome—one more than they should have.
“Journal of Genetics and Genomes” publishes peer-reviewed research work on the discoveries and current developments in the field of Genetics relating to all the domains of life, from humans to plants to livestock and other model organisms, headed by pre-eminent Editorial Board to ensure article quality and to provide unbiased and efficient publishing process.
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