Dominant conditions are often inherited from affected parents. Parents pass down one copy of each of their genes to their children.
Sometimes a dominant mutation can appear in an individual even if neither parent has the mutation. In recessive conditions, individuals are affected if both copies of the gene associated with the disease have a mutation. Someone with a mutation in one copy of a disease causing gene is known as a carrier.
Carriers do not have the genetic condition themselves, but are at risk of passing on the condition to their children. In order for an individual to have mutations in both copies of a gene, one mutation must be inherited from each parent.
Two partners who are carriers for the same recessive condition are at risk for having a child with the condition. Carriers of autosomal recessive disorders often have no family history of the disorder, because these conditions require both parents to be carriers, and carriers are typically healthy.
A gene that is X-linked is located on the X chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes, while men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.
In most cases, women who have a mutation in an X-linked gene are not affected because they have a second functioning copy of the gene. It is possible for women to be affected by X-linked recessive disorders as well, thought symptoms are typically less severe. Women are also more likely to be carriers of X-linked conditions, since they can have a mutation in an X-linked gene without experiencing symptoms themselves.
X-linked recessive conditions are usually passed down from carrier mothers to sons. Approximately 1 in 4 Jews is a carrier for one of 75 "Jewish" genetic disorders, included in the Center's carrier screening panel. More than half of program participants are carriers of at least one of the genetic conditions on the Center's expanded carrier screening panel.
Our affordable, accessible carrier screening program uses advanced technology to provide comprehensive screening for Jewish and interfaith couples. Complete with imaginative illustrations, What's in Your Genes? Katie also cohosts the irreverent science podcast, Science Brunch.
You can find her work at BeatriceBiologist.
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