Today, millions of people worldwide face the threat of genetic diseases. Some of these, like baldness, speech disorders, and arthritis, are not life threatening but the majority are. That is why genetic diseases are a major killer of human kind and we need to find ways to stop this. Many scientists are looking to genetic engineering for this answer and we need to be to.
There are four types of genetic disorders: single-gene, multifactorial, chromosomal, and mitochondrial. Single-gene disorders are caused by mutations in one gene. There are over 6,000 known genetic diseases of this time and 1 out of every 200 newborns are diagnosed with one of these. Some examples of this type are sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and Huntington’s disease. Multifactorial genetic diseases are caused by mutations in more than one gene. Alzheimers, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and many types of cancers such as colon, skin, and lung are among the lists. The third type, chromosomal genetic diseases, are from mutations in the chromosomes or there are too many or too few. The most common chromosomal genetic disease is Down Syndrome. Mitochondrial diseases are not as common as the others but they are important to know about. These diseases cause cell failure and death from lack of energy to keep them going. This death can result in multisystem failure and can lead to death. While more common in children, these diseases are occuring more and more in adults.
With all of these possibilities out there, who wouldn’t want to protect their child from going through this. Genetic testing only requires a small blood sample and test for thousands of genetic disorders. There are many labs out there for your blood to be sent to and your doctor can draw the blood and send it for you. Genetic engineering is a process that removes certain traits from unborn individuals. This process is done in a few different ways and some of them include changing the inheritability of these genes so the children cannot pass them on.
As we move into the future this possibility will become more available to people and it is something we all need to consider. As with anything there are risks and it would be a personal weighing of these risks that will be the deciding factor for many. In the long run it would help the human species to evolve into a better, healthier life form and the quality of life would certainly improve.