Genetic testing is a technique which is used to detect genetic disorders by observing the genes of the individual and sometimes the DNA molecule is itself tested. Usually the test is performed to check any hereditary diseases in the individual and it is also observed that if there are chances of genetic disorders to pass to the off spring or not. It is difficult to perform the genetic tests depending on the laboratory conditions. If the laboratory is equipped with necessary instruments, then it is easy to do genetic testing. It also depends on the individuals whether they want to do the testing.
In genetic testing, a complete DNA or a gene is observed or a specific location on the gene is observed. If an individual is having sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis and he wants to know about the transfer of the disease in his child then the direct testing of genes is performed. In the method of the indirect testing, part of the DNA or gene is observed and for this purpose, usually the DNA molecule is taken from the other member of the family to analyze. It is a fact that every individual's DNA is different from the other individual that is why the technique of genetic testing can be performed to identify the individual.
Types of Genetic Testing:-
In this type, the test for genetic disorders is performed on the new born babies and it is seen that if they are carrying any defective genes or not. If the result comes positive, then it will be easy for the doctors to replace the defective genes with healthy ones. Usually the disease of phenylketonuria, a disease of mental retardation, is tested by this method.
Three diseases come into consideration in this technique that is, cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs and sickle cell anemia. The parents who are planning to start their family and they have the history of carrying genes for these diseases, then the technique of carrier identification is performed. If one person among the couple is diagnosed with carrying the defected genes then there are chances that those carrier genes may become dominant in their child.
Forensic testing is not used to detect whether the individual is carrying defected genes for any disease but this technique uses the sequences of the DNA molecule and is used to identify the criminals or paternity of the child can also be identified with this technique.
Late Onset Disorders:-
There are some diseases which have hereditary as well as environmental effects like heart disease and cancer. This technique is performed to identify such diseases.
Method of Genetic Testing:-
Various things are used for the genetic testing like hair, skin, blood or the amniotic fluid which surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. Usually a small brush is used to take cells from the cheeks. These cells are observed under the specific conditions of the laboratory and special trained technicians perform the testing. If the genetic testing is about the new born baby, then small amount of blood is taken from the body of the baby and it is observed for the genetic disorders.
Ethical and Legal Issues:-
If the genetic testing is performed on the individual, then there are chances that these tests may affect the lives of the individuals that he may face problems in getting job or may have hurdles in getting married. So if such type of test is performed then there should be privacy of the individual. The individual must consider the risks and benefits of the testing. He should know that what would be the results of this testing. There should be a specific person who could get the test results and everyone should not know the results of the individual.
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