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Genetics And Progeria: The Disease Of Premature Aging

1605 words - 7 pages

PAGE PAGE 6 Genetics and Progeria
Genetics and ProgeriaThe Disease of Premature AgingTeam CWinston McCaneMonica KrugRobert NovakJeffrey Schneider (FAC)December 15, 2004Genetics and Progeria; The Disease of Premature AgingGenetics has made some fantastic advances recently in science. For all that wehave learned, we still haven't found the answers to everything. The last three or four decades have witnessed an unquestionable revolution occurring in the study of genetics. Since the 1940's when DNA first was clearly postulated, up to the discovery of the nature of the genetic code in the 1960's when DNA was proved to be a storehouse of genetic information, researchers in genetic engineering ...view middle of the document...

" (2003, Audesirk, Byers)Mutations of the genes can happen in different ways but primarily they happen naturally or by environmental intervention. Multifactorial disorders result from mutations in multiple genes, often coupled with environmental causes. Heart disorder, diabetes and cancer are examples of this type of genetic disorder. The complicated bases of these diseases make them difficult to study and to treat. In some disorders, entire chromosomes, or large segments of them, are missing, duplicated, or otherwise altered in the replication process. . The results of these chromosome abnormalities are diseases in human such as Down Syndrome and Turner's Syndrome.Knowing that mutation can occur we immediately raise the question "How can I prevent it or how can I treat it? " With the turn into the millennium the idea that genetic research cannot be helpful has been changed. The understanding of the effects of the genetic makeup of the human being and to what degree this will be taken is advancing ways to combat genetic disorders. Through the bioengineering that is taking place today the scientists can study how changes in the genetic order may affect how a genetic disorder is transmitted, but more importantly in how it may be stopped or better, eradicated.The first and most used valuable tool has been the research of DNA. This alone has it made it significantly easier to try to negotiate through the genetic order and how earlier detection could help stymie some genetic disorders by mutating cells to counter various disorders. Last year, scientists found a mutated form of the gene Lamin A caused Progeria, but they did not understand how it worked. A typical cell will divide a certain amount of times so that a new set can replace worn out or damaged ones. As a person ages, cells lose the ability to multiply. The researchers discovered the mutated form of Lamin A caused cells to divide more rapidly, which caused them to die. It is this process which leads to premature ageing. "The whole key is in the cells," Dr Kill explains. "There are two components to ageing - environmental factors, such as smoking, exposure to sunlight and diet, and cellular ageing." (2004, BBC NEWS)One might consider the study into aging a useless and vain attempt to prolong our lives and prevent wrinkles. That might be a side benefit to the true need for this type of genetic study. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disease that accelerates the aging process to about seven times the normal rate. Because of this accelerated aging, a child of ten years will have similar respiratory, cardiovascular, and arthritic conditions that a 70-year-old would have. "The child is normal at birth. Intelligence is usually normal. The average age of death is 16 years, but survival until 26 years has been recorded. This occurs in children of both sexes and the effects of arteriosclerosis usually cause death. Etiology and mode of genetic transmission (if any) is...

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