Dear Grandma, Hello, how are you? I hope your doing well, I really do miss you. First I think it is amazing that you found this genetic testing kit online, it does sound very interesting. I do want to explain to you how exactly DNA works. According to (Freudenrich, 2013) in order for cells to function in the body, protein needs to be made. DNA regulates a cells activity, and it is able to do this in two particular steps: Transcription, and Translation. Transcription is a process where there is a copy made of one gene within the DNA.
Transcription made possible by an enzyme (which is more a complex protein that works to make a chemical change in the body). I hope this is understandable so far. This specific enzyme is called RNA polymerase, I know, there are a lot of complex names. Well, in order for the RNA polymerase to make mRNA (which is the copy) it has to first bind itself to this specific DNA sequence of the gene, which is called the promoter. This unwinds the two DNA strands, and uses one as a guide. It then matches new nucleotides (which a compound made up of a phosphate group, a sugar and a nitrogenous base. with their complements on the DNA strand and binds them together to form a complementary copy of the original DNA strand which is now called mRNA. This sequence stops when it reaches a stop codon (which is basically a nucleotide that tells the process to stop). The next process is translation where ribosomes in cells manufacture proteins. The mRNA that was made is then decoded by these ribosomes in order to make a certain amino acid chain, which is called a polypeptide. This polypeptide will then become a protein. Now that I have explained this, I should talk about how diseases can come about.
In DNA, there could be an alteration of the sequences of bases. This alteration is called a mutation, which can cause a change in the DNA structure and therefore the way the proteins are being produced in the translation process. For example Grandma, one disease that can be found by genetic testing is cystic fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is the disease that our cousin Jake has. He was diagnosed when he was five years old. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that affects the lungs mostly and sometimes the intestine, liver, and pancreas. It causes difficulty of breathing from lung infections.
Although it is treatable, it can get worse. If it does get worse, lung transplant is the last option. The reason a person would want to be tested for this because it is a hard thing to deal with in life. A lot of people, especially younger kids can’t participate in sports, or leave their bed. What kind of life would that be? The reason that some tests determine that you will definitely have a disease and that for some diseases will show if you have likelihood or not because some genetic disorders can be inherited, and some only develop in life according to (Humanillnesses 2013).
In addition, some genetic disorders develop due to radiation or chemicals in the world. You know, I will honestly say there are advantages and disadvantages to this at-home genetic test kits. One advantage is that you do not have to make or have many appointments with a specialist of some sort to find this information out. It will take quicker to find the results and you won’t have to waste money on gas, and you will save time. Another advantage is that this allows people their genetic disorder information. This benefits the whole world; it benefits myself if I were to use it.
It would also benefit me by knowing what my family, friends and significant others are likely to have. One disadvantage of these kits is that would they be accurate? Would we be able to accurately read this information and understand it by ourselves at home? I thought of this because in (Janice Lloyd 2012) article, she was describing how at home tests are unreliable. I don’t think I would be able to completely trust this product in a topic this important. Another disadvantage is that I’m sure there will be competition between companies about this at- home genetic testing kit. How will I know which companies are fake, or real?
Or, how expensive will these kits become? I know you said these kits are apparently $100, but I’m sure if these kits become more popular they will rise in cost. That’s not fair for other families that won’t have this type of money to spend, which creates another problem for the health care issue as described by (Janice Lloyd, 2012) in another article. It mentions that it may be difficult for families to get long term, or life long insurances for some conditions. In a more detailed note, I do believe that companies should also freely market tests for conditions that cannot be cured.
I think knowledge is power. So if more people are aware that they will definitely have a certain disease or that their children might have them, there will be, as a result, a more desirable cure for them. Therefore, a louder call for research to be taken place, because after all necessity is the mother of invention. Grandma, after writing the above to you, I will most likely choose to be genetically tested. I want to know if I have some horrible disease in my future. If I had something like Huntington disease, I would choose not to have children.
I wouldn’t want to know that I had it and then have a child that tests positive for it and can’t live their life. It wouldn’t be right for me to do that. It’s not fair for any of my future children if this was the case. Bibliography: How DNA Works. (n. d. ). HowStuffWorks. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://science. howstuffworks. com/life/cellular-microscopic/dna5. htm Cystic Fibrosis. (n. d. ). Wikipedia. Retrieved April 13, 2013, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Cystic_fibrosis Cystic Fibrosis. (n. d. ). Wikipedia. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://www. umanillnesses. com/original/Gas-Hep/Genetic-Diseases. html#b#ixzz2QOz8WqZg Genetic testing and disease: Would you want to know?. (n. d. ). USA Today. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://usatoday30. usatoday. com/news/health/story/2012-04-09/genetic-testing-huntingtons-disease/54475708/1#. T9e3-dCAwCI. email Genetic testing: Does Kristen Powers have mom’s fatal gene?. (n. d. ). USA Today. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://usatoday30. usatoday. com/news/health/story/2012-06-02/huntingtons-genetic-testing-followup/55345096/1? loc=interstitialskip
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