The Development Of Genetics

Submitted By drmissey
Words: 1051
Pages: 5

What determines how a fetus in the womb will develop? Will she have short hair or long? Will he be a basketball player or play soccer? Will she be tall or short? Will he be fat or skinny? Genetics is a fundamental building block to the development of the fetus in the womb. “The entire genetic code of a human is determined by the unique combination of a mother’s single ovum (egg) and a father’s single sperm” (Mossler, 2011, 2.1 Genetic Foundations). Genes play an important role in determining physical trait. Genes play a significant role in determines who a person is. As a couple begins the process of reproduction, the one cell that is formed after conception will turn into trillions of other cells. Both the sperm and ovum contain chromosomes that will eventually be the foundation of human life. The specific genes within these chromosomes include a chemical structure called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is the code or instructions that make up all life. All cells in the body contain 46 chromosomes. These 46 chromosomes are made up of 23 sperms and 23 ovum. When the sperm and ovum cell meet the result is one new organism that contains the correct 46 chromosomes. Periodically, the joining of the sperm and ovum cell will reproduce an offspring that can potential inherit one or many abnormal gene which will produce diseases such as sickle cell. Sickle cell disease is a hereditary genetic disease which appears to plaque people of African ancestry, Hispanic, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descents. As the sickle cell disease, continues to penetrate a segment of the world population one must understand how the abnormal gene originates and the influence each parent plays in passing down this trait to the off springs they will produce. According to “The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario” (2012),“Sickle cell disease is a hereditary genetic disease characterized by the presence of abnormal crescent-shaped red blood cells instead of the regular biconcave disc-shaped cells” ( The Evolution of Sickle Cell). Sickle cell disease is a very rare disease but yet there are a lot of people who suffer from this in the United States and other Mediterranean countries. Worldwide there are approximately 120,000 infants born with sickle cell disease every year. In America 1 in 500 African-Americans and 1 in 1,200 Hispanic Americans are born with sickle cell disease (“U.S. News Health”, 2010). Sickle cell disease is an inherited, lifelong disease. Individuals who acquire this disease are born with it. A successful candidate of sickle cell disease will inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene from both parents. Most individuals that acquire the sickle cell disease have a single defect on both the mother’s and father’s chromosome 11. Due to this single defect the hemoglobin molecules will bind together to form long, rod-like structures considered sickle, or crescent shape cells. As red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to various other organs and tissues, the protein called hemoglobin is disfigured and produces an abnormal typed called hemoglobin S. Because of the abnormal shape, these cells don’t move easily through the blood vessels. This abnormal hemoglobin are stiff and sticky and tend to form clumps and get stuck in the process of blood flowing through the vessels. Currently, there are two forms of sickle disease, sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait. Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease. Sickle cell anemia affect millions throughout the world. Sickle cell anemia is an autosomal reessie genetic disorder caused by a defect in the HBB gene. In order for an individual to acquire sickle cell anemia there must be present two defective genes. These genes are past down from both the father and mother. The defected genes are called hemoglobin (S). As the abnormal hemoglobin(s) tend to form clumps and get stuck in the blood vessels, the blood flow can tend to get blocked leading to organ