The Deciding Factor: Tay-Sachs Disease
PSY104: Child and Adolescent Development
Instructor: Lucy Rimalower
February 25, 2013
The exponential growth of technology has the world changing on a daily basis. The informational age, which we are currently living in, allows a genetic breakthrough to be acknowledged by humanity in a matter of mere minutes. However, even with extreme bursts of technology, there are many mysteries that this world harbors which scientists have been trying to unravel for many decades. Many of these mysteries have much to do with the complexity of a muscle that is located underneath the human skull in which is called the brain. Technological advancement has allowed scientists to understand the intricacies of genetics. Genetics are linked to many different infantile diseases, like the Tay - Sachs disease, which is caused by a defective gene on chromosome 15. The child must receive a defective gene from each parent in order to become sick, when both parents carry the defective Tay - Sachs gene; a child has a 25% chance of becoming sick with the disease. With technological advancements there has been many breakthroughs concerning genetic abnormalities and the treatment of the abnormalities. “Central nervous system (CNS) malformations are among the more common forms of defects identifiable during fetal life. The wide availability of prenatal diagnostic ultrasound examinations has induced increasing awareness of genetic predispositions among obstetricians and their pregnant patients.” (Gentile, 2003) Many CNS malformations could be detected early in development, thus allotting ample time for effective treatment and/ or corrections. Unfortunately, there are some genetic abnormalities that, although they could be detected very early, there is no known effective treatment. “A harmful recessive trait can be inherited for many generations (hundreds or even thousands) without any effect until it is joined with another...
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