Predispositions to certain diseases are as easy to determine as the color of the eyes – Search


Modern science makes it possible to read the human genome in a few days. This helps scientists, based on the decoding of DNA, to identify predispositions to various hereditary diseases. This technique is effective, as it can be used to prevent the development of diseases by changing a person’s lifestyle or prescribing a rational treatment, said Alexander Ermoshin, associate professor of the Department of Experimental Biology and Biotechnology of UrFU.

The biotechnologist warned that genetic tests do not make it possible to determine in advance the mental abilities of children or to predict a person’s professional inclinations and hobbies, and even more so to fix the desired characteristics. At the moment, there are no reliably discovered genes that describe a person’s individual abilities and characteristics. That is why attempts to change the appearance, for example, the color of the eyes, cannot be carried out.

“Molecular biology really allows you to learn the structure of genes, describe the characteristics of their operation and discover their role in the phenotype of the human body, and genetic engineering helps to change them. One of the first areas associated with genetic research is the prediction of susceptibility to socially dangerous non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases). Over time, scientists accumulate an archive of genetic markers that are characteristic of a certain disease, and we can warn a person in advance so that he can avoid the development of the disease. But changing appearance through gene editing, especially in adults, is simply not possible. This is due to the phenomenon of pleiotropy – multiple action of genes, when an attempt to change one gene will lead to a change in several characteristics of the body. It is also worth noting that sometimes several genes can be responsible for a trait at once, and changing a dozen genes can be life-threatening,” explains Alexander Ermoshin.

As the scientist points out, preventive medicine and medicine in general can effectively use the results of deciphering the genome of a particular person or even a population to create drugs. The study of genetic markers shows that gender and ethnic differences also affect differences in human genomes. Therefore, what may be a cure for some people may be ineffective or even dangerous for others.

Federal University of the Urals

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