What are genetic diseases and how do they come about?

Every person has different genetic information. This is why we all look different. Our genetic information controls all of our features, such as whether we are short or tall and what our face and nose shape are. It also can determine which diseases we have.

HOW DOES GENETIC INFORMATION CAUSE DISEASE?

Our genetic information is made up of lots of individual genes. Genes control different features of our bodies. If a gene is changed so it doesn’t work in the same way as normal, it can cause diseases. These diseases are called genetic disorders. Some disorders cause death. Some disorders are less severe and the person can have a long life.

  • Different parts of our bodies can can be damaged in different genetic disorders. This depends on which gene is changed.
  • Some genetic disorders mean people don’t grow properly or have difficulty moving. This occurs if they have a changed gene that controls their bones and skeleton.
  • The genes that control the brain can be changed. This causes brain disorders. This is why some children can’t look after themselves and have severe learning difficulties.
  • If the genes that are changed control the immune system, then this system won’t form properly. People with disorders like this will be very ill.
  • There are many other disorders affecting every part of the body

WHERE DOES MY GENETIC INFORMATION COMES FROM?

When your parents had sex, the genetic information from your mother and from your father mixed. This mixture formed your genetic information. Half your genetic information came from your mother and half from your father. If you have a changed gene that causes a genetic disorder, it has come from your father or your mother or sometimes both.

HOW DO WE GET GENETIC DISORDERS?

Genetic disorders are caused by having changed genes in your genetic information. Some disorders are caused by having one changed gene. If either of your parents had the disorder their genetic information will have had this changed gene. It will be passed into your genetic information and you will also have the disorder.

Some disorders occur if two genes are changed. Your mother and father may not have the disorder because only one gene in each of them was changed. But when their genetic information combined to make you, there were two changed genes (one from each parent). In this case you would have the disorder and your parents wouldn’t.

VICTORIA COX

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