Packaging process for genes discovered

Scientists at Penn State University have achieved a major milestone in the attempt to assemble, in a test tube, entire chromosomes from their component parts. The achievement reveals the process a cell uses to package the ...

Study of shark virgin birth shows offspring can survive long term

Shark pups born to virgin mothers can survive over the long-term, according to new research published Jan. 25, 2010 in the Journal of Heredity. The study shows for the first time that some virgin births can result in viable ...

New and improved cherry flavor courtesy of the petunia flower

That cherry flavor you enjoy in candy and soda is likely a combination of aromatic and flavor compounds discovered through the study of plants in laboratories far from cherry trees. It and the sweet scent of your almond extract ...

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Genetic testing

Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherit diseases, and can also be used to determine a person's ancestry. Normally, every person carries two copies of every gene, one inherited from their mother, one inherited from their father. The human genome is believed to contain around 20,000 - 25,000 genes. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.

Since genetic testing may open up ethical or psychological problems, genetic testing is often accompanied by genetic counseling.

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