Putting DNA to Work

Inheriting Disease

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Can You Use DNA to Prevent Disease?
How Reading DNA Sequences Can Improve Health

“The ultimate goal of these scientific advances is the treatment, cure, and eventual prevention of genetic disorders, but effective interventions lag behind the ability to detect disease or increased susceptibility to disease.” – National Academies, 1994

The new ability to pinpoint the cause of human genetic disease, and to detect those individuals who are predisposed to such diseases, does not mean that modern medicine can prevent them.

Learn more about how DNA is being used to detect and prevent disease in the following sections:

How Can a Child Inherit a Disease from Two Normal Parents?
What Are Mutations?
Hemochromatosis Multimedia
Sickle Cell Anemia

Photo of Shehans

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Inherited Disease
The Sheahans have discovered that they are carriers of hemochromatosis. Their oldest child has been diagnosed with the disease, and their two younger children are at risk.

This activity simulates the test to find the disease.

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