The Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing

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In 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed. The project was an international research effort whose ultimate goal was to sequence the human genome and identify its genes. Upon completion, the Human Genome Project provided a complete sequence of the nearly 3 billion base pairs in the human genome. By essentially creating a blueprint of what makes a healthy human, we know what a normal, un-mutated genome looks like. That being said, genetic testing is now available to essentially anyone. While genetic testing may put us a great advantage scientifically, it could also be a set-back. Genetic testing is really helpful in medical circumstances but in situations where a person just wants to know what their genes say about them, it can cause …show more content…
This is the most common and is done to see if a patient has a genetic condition that is making a person sick or may make them ill in the future. An example of this would be the BRCA tests. These tests test for breast and ovarian cancer. The mutation is the same genetic mutation in all persons affected by it. By doing the test, the results can help to treat or manage the disorder. Another type of testing is predictive or pre-symptomatic testing. This goes along with diagnostic testing where it finds genetic variations in a person’s genome in order to help provide information about a person’s risk of developing a disease. By having either a pre-symptomatic test or a diagnostic test done, it can help to increase a patient’s quality of life by allowing for treatment early on in the disease or even before the disease occurs. Many couples will have genetic tests done on their children before the child is even born. A type of testing called prenatal testing is offered during pregnancy to diagnose disease in fetuses that are at risk for certain diseases. While it may seem harsh, some couples do these tests and after testing use the results to determine whether or not they will have an abortion. Tay-Sachs disease is a fatal disease that results in destruction of the nervous system. The actual disorder is most common in children however adults can be carriers. A carrier is a person who carries the genetic abnormality for the disease but does not