The Possibility of Inherited Diseases
SC235-03: General Biology I – Human Perspectives
Professor Frank Jenkins
The Possibility of Inherited Diseases
Our bodies are made up of cells and within those cells hold our unique DNA and genetic make-up called genes. Genes are made up of strings of DNA and contain the directions that our bodies use to make the millions of proteins our bodies use (Ireland, 2010). Our genes are further organized into something called a chromosome. A chromosome contains our genes and in those genes you will find our DNA (Ireland, 2010), so you can say that our bodies are like a huge filing cabinet and the chromosomes are the folders where our information is stored. Chromosomes come in pairs and the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes making up 46 individual units of organized DNA (Ireland, 2010). Each chromosome pair has one chromosome from the egg and one from the sperm, so genetic factors are important in establishing our individuality and the possibility of inheriting disease from one or both of our parents.
In my family tree there is not a great risk to any significant health diseases or problems. My grandfather has diabetes, but he developed this condition as a result of the medications he had to take due to an exposer from his job when he was a very young man. My mother on the other hand does have high blood pressure and hypo-thyroid disorder. In addition to this my mother has acid reflux and so does my grandmother. The males in my family are very prone to having ADHD and the risk of me passing it along to my sons was very probable. As for the things that my mother and grandmother had, acid reflux, I had a very good chance of having this as well and I do. The hypo-thyroid disorder and high blood pressure did not occur with my mother until later in life, so it still stands to see if this gene has been passed down to me or not. As for my father’s side of the family, he doesn’t have any significant health problems either and I never knew his parents so I do not know of any health problems that may have been there.
I believe that the mode of inheritance that these traits follow and are passed down from one family member to the next are sex linked. I believe this to be because females have two X chromosomes and males only have one (Ireland, 2010). The X chromosome has many more genes than the Y chromosome does, therefore the chances of a female passing on a defective gene is more likely than a male. I mentioned my sons and their higher risk of having ADHD because I wanted to explain why they have a higher risk of having ADHD than my daughter does and why this disorder is very common among the males in my family and not the females. Because females have two X chromosomes one of the X chromosomes is randomly shut down and there is a greater chance of the defective X chromosome becoming recessive (Ireland, 2010). The recessive gene is still present in the daughter cells that will be passed down to the next offspring. Now because I am a carrier for this gene I will pass it down to my offspring and because my sons have only one X chromosome and one Y chromosome they have more of a chance of receiving this gene. The same is said for why the acid reflux, high blood pressure, and hypo-thyroid disorder is very well likely to be passed on to me. Because it is the females in my family that have these issues, it is likely that the X chromosomes that are being passed down from parent to offspring have the abnormality that causes these things to occur. I suppose that these issues could be autosomal dominant trait because anyone that has alleles Aa or AA will have the damaged gene that causes these problems because they are a dominant trait (Ireland, 2010).
These are not life threating diseases and I do not believe that I would need to take extreme measures to draw a better conclusion about the disease, but if it had been a more sever disease there are a...