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Advantages & Reasons For Conducting Genetic Tests

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Genetic testing is used to detect the genetic vulnerabilities of an individual and his or her exposure in acquiring diseases. Genetic tests are primarily used to determine genetic disorders and involve a thorough scrutiny of the DNA molecule, which is believed to be the most novel and most advanced technique used in testing individuals. A genetic test offers information about a person's genes and chromosomes throughout one's lifespan. Tiny samples of blood and body tissues are analyzed in genetic testing which then determines whether the mother, father or the child is carrying specific genes responsible for genetic disorders. This method of screening is believed to be the most accurate kind of testing to date, so much so that doctors can now very precisely locate a missing gene or abnormal genes that may cause future damage to the body.

Reasons For Conducting Genetic Tests

  • The vulnerability of an individual towards a certain disease especially if he or she is carrying one kind or a copy of a particular chromosome for disease that usually requires two copies of the disease to be revealed.
  • Prenatal diseases
  • Certain adult-related diseases specifically Huntington's disease, specific malignant tumors and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Identity testing or forensic testing
  • Confirm accurate diagnosis in an individual with specific symptoms

The aim of any genetic testing is to look into the possible predisposition of a particular disease in an individual; as well as to accurately substantiate a supposed genetic or chromosomal mutation. During the process of a genetic test, the medical expert examines the individual's DNA sample for abnormalities and mutated sequences in the chromosomes and genes. Blood samples or body tissues are the easiest source of any DNA samples, but in certain kind of genetic tests medical scientists create smaller pieces of DNA known as probes in order to search for mutated sequences in the patient's ordering of genes. In the presence of a mutated sequence the probe attaches itself and binds to the mutation. The only drawback of genetic testing is the price it comes at, as it reaches anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending upon the kind of genes and the amount of mutation sequences to be tested.

Advantages

One of the most important advantages of genetic testing is the quality of life it has helped to improve in a number of individuals, as most genetic tests are used to determine an accurate diagnosis and help the physician in meting out appropriate treatments to treat the disease. However there is a possibility of laboratory errors, as in any kind of medical testing and this may be due to human interference such as misidentification of samples, chemical contamination and other factors.

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