If you’re new to Mendelian Genetics, you probably want to start your work with the Mendelian Genetics Worksheet. This worksheet is the single best place to start for you to explore the principles of genetics and how they are applied concerning diseases and syndromes that affect people today. However, a lot of you don’t know much about the genetics of diseases in general.
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So, let’s discuss some history lessons you might not have heard about genetics and the genes in humans and how they can affect us as individuals. Since our ancestry is older than that of any other living species, scientists have been studying our genetic lineage for many years. The first research was based on the observations of a geneticist named Francis Galton, who was to find out how certain traits like hair and eye color came to be.
Galton’s “Herald of Inevitable Disaster” was a perfect example of genetics in action. The characteristics you would today call a ‘disease’ were based on the changes in our genetic lines. To the Galton, some things were considered a disease because of their previous mutations, like blue eyes or dark hair. Inevitable disaster has since become the statistical signature of these traits that scientists think are constantly mutating through generations, though their exact cause is still unknown.
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It is these hereditary conditions that many of us associate with certain diseases today. For example, blue eyes that are caused by the mutation of the eye’s cells may not show a very high incidence today. This mutation also causes certain problems with developing other organ systems, and it is also correlated with certain diseases. It may be the eyes are a disease in itself, or it may just be a little extra cause for attention.
Other geneticists have identified hereditary conditions that have left their effects on the population today. That’s a good thing for you because it means that geneticists are collecting and studying all the genetic mutations from all of our families. This could give us an idea of just how useful Mendelian Genetics is. Geneticists will be able to say with confidence that mutations of genes don’t cause any diseases at all, and that you may have inherited a genetic defect that is perfectly harmless.
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One example of something very important to the med school curriculum is genetics. Med school students can find out more about how genetics is applied in medical sciences, and if they can become the next Max von Laue in the field of genetics, it would be well worth the tuition and money.
Understanding genetics research is a great foundation to have. It is important to a physician’s profession, as it can guide medical decisions.
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