Essay on Gender and Genetic Mutations

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The study of genetics includes not only the study of normal DNA, but also of the mutations within a DNA. A mutation is a slightly distorted gene. These mutations can have an effect on a person, both physically and mentally. Although genetics may seem to be just about the genes, scientists are beginning to see a connection between gender and genetic mutations. Meet Henry, a man with dark hair, and Katie, a woman with gapped teeth. The couple has a child and from their physical description, we know that the child may turn out to have dark hair and gapped teeth. These simple examples are what color the fundamentals of genetics, but what if Henry and Katie have twin children. One child is a girl and she has dark hair…show more content…
There are many types of genetic conditions. Genetic mutations cause these genetic conditions. Genetic mutations can occur if there is an extra chromosome in a gene, if there is a missing chromosome, or even if there is a distorted chromosome. Some genetic conditions include autism, food allergies, and Down syndrome. Through much study, scientists have found that in certain genetic conditions, gender does play a role. Evan Eichler is a geneticist at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Small studies had hinted that girls could endure far more harmful autism-linked mutations than boys before developing the disease. So he and colleagues decided to probe whether this association held up in a bigger group of people diagnosed with autism or with other disorders that trace to changes in how the brain develops. To do this, the team tapped into two large collections of genetic data. One came from more than 15,000 people with intellectual disabilities. A second came from 762 families, each with an autistic child. Eichler’s team suspects that parents of the kids in the two groups it studied had such mutations and then passed them along to their children. On average, females in both of the studied groups had more harmful mutations than did the males. This was true for large chunks of missing or repeated DNA as well as for small, single letter mutations. “No matter what class of mutation we looked at, females had more,” Eichler says. Consider
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