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The Ability To Map A Human Genome

2980 words - 12 pages

Science is a field of study that is always evolving and changing with time and new discoveries. New studies in medicine are constantly improving, such as the flu shot, which changes every year to protect America’s population against influenza. With all the adventure into the unknown comes the worry of taking science too far. Also not letting people’s bodies and life take its natural course is a fear of genetic testing. While others believe the improvements to using genetic tests will benefit society drastically. One of the newer studies and discoveries in science is the ability to map a human genome, which takes a single strand of a person’s DNA and interprets genes into the information that patients, doctors, and scientists understand. Information that DNA contains are physical traits, like hair color and eye color, as well as things like a disease that a person might encounter later in life, such Alzheimer's disease.
Genetic testing has many different fields of study, including preimplantation testing, newborn screening, prenatal testing, carrier testing, diagnostic testing, and pre-symptomatic testing. Preimplantation testing is a specialized technique that can reduce the risk of having a child with a particular genetic or chromosomal disorder. It is used to detect genetic changes in embryos that were created using assisted reproductive techniques such as in-vitro fertilization. This is also the type of genetic mapping that is used when people talk about making a “designer baby” where newborn screening is used just after birth to identify genetic disorders that can be treated early in life. Screening of newborns is used across the United States as a standard, but doctors are continually expanding the diseases that newborns are screened for after birth. Prenatal testing is used to detect changes in a fetus’s genes or chromosomes before birth. This type of testing is offered during pregnancy if there is an increased risk that the baby will have a genetic or chromosomal disorder. Carrier testing in used to identify people who carry one copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder. This type of testing is offered to individuals who have a family history of a genetic disorder and to people in certain ethnic groups with an increased risk of specific genetic conditions. Diagnostic testing is used to identify or rule out a specific genetic or chromosomal condition, and in many cases, genetic testing is used to confirm a diagnosis when a particular condition is suspected based on physical signs and symptoms. Diagnostic testing can be performed before birth or at any time during a person’s life (Robinson).
Although all the different genetic testing procedures are used in variety of situations, they are all in some ways the same. Genetics is its own specialized field in science and along with this new type of medical practice comes many different risks and benefits, worry of ethics, problems with the government,...

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