DNA Tests Fight Diseases & is Revolutionizing Medicine

For thousands of years, healers and health providers have tried to understand how the human body works, why it functions the way that it does, why people get sick, and most importantly how to heal those who are living with a disease or chronic condition.

In 1990, a monumental task began as the Human Genome Project began working on identifying and mapping the entire sequence of human DNA and the euchromatic genome. In the mid-1980s the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health began looking to fund the enormous task of sequencing human chromosomes.

In President Reagan’s 1987 budget to Congress, the project was given $16 million to begin the task. It took 13 years to complete the project which raised the cost to approximately $5 billion. The United Kingdom, France, China, and Australia pitched in resources to help complete the work.

Precision Medicine

genomics

The information produced by the Human Genome Project has revolutionized medicine and continues to evolve as scientists understand more and more about genomics.

In 2011, the National Academy of Sciences suggested using genetic data, epigenomics, and environmental factors to gather a whole picture of the variables present in the patient and its relationship to individual diagnoses and treatments. 

Monogenic Diseases

Monogenic illnesses are caused by a single gene that replicates in all the body’s cells. These diseases are rare, but they are prevalent all over the world with millions of people being affected by the disease.

Current research estimates that there are more than10,000 monogenic diseases that harm humans. An illness or condition caused solely due to a genetic mutation is classified into three categories: dominant, recessive, or X-linked.

Every person is born with two sets of every gene, the parts that make up the genes are called alleles. Recessive genes that cause disease are due to monogenic disorders that happen when both copies of the gene are damaged.

Dominant Illnesses

X chromosome

Dominant illnesses are monogenic disorders that only have a single damaged allele while X linked diseases are connected to totally defective genes located on the X chromosome.

The X-linked alleles can also be dominant or recessive and are present in both males and females. Men are more at risk because they only have a single X (XY) chromosome while women have two (XX).Monogenic illnesses are frequently fatal. The prevalence of these single genomic diseases at birth is 10 in every 1000 children born.

Since the genetic sequence has been mapped, the next hurdle was to identify the genetic differences that increase the risk of developing illnesses. In the 17 years, the human genome has been available to scientists they have created practical applications for the data in biotechnology and healthcare.

Right now, researchers are utilizing the mapped genome to find treatments and cures for illnesses like cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and many different types of cancer.

Gene Therapy

Gene therapy is a new set of procedures that manipulate genes to prevent or treat an illness. Everyday scientists and doctors  are exploring experimental techniques to further treat disorders by altering the person’s cellular structure instead of more traditional treatments like surgery and medication.

Genomic therapies are replacing outdated treatments but must be approached slowly as the long-term effects of gene therapies are still unknown. Medical genetic testing can be expensive, and many health insurance companies loathe to approve such procedures.

Suspecting Hereditary Illness?

woman-suffering-from-Hereditary-Illness

However, if you suspect a hereditary illness or just want an insight into your overall health.

A commercial DNA test helps you understand whether you need to visit genomic health professional.

A small word of warning, not all DNA tests are structured the same, nor are they processed with the same accuracy and diligence as set by industrial standards.

A quick visit to the objective DNA Weekly will help you understand the differences between the types of genetic tests and give you an honest review of the test and its’ reliability. 

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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