Why do we study genetics and DNA?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a myriad of answers why scientists have been studying genetics and DNA, but here are some that touch upon humans:

1.  In the criminal justice field, identification can be made based upon DNA.

2.  Understanding the genetics of people aids in locating predispositions to various conditions, diseases, mental conditions, etc.

 

3. Cures may develop as a result of this greater understanding of genetics.  Presently, scientists are working on isolating genes that cause certain conditions.  For instance, regarding major depression, it is estimated that 40-70% of the predisposition is due to certain genes.  For Schizophrenia, genetic factors appear to account for 70-85% of the predisposition, and for BiPolar Disorder, genetic factors probably account for 80-90% of the predisposition to develope this disorder. 

4.  Genetics clinics are able to determine whether couples who plan to have children will pass on certain traits and that may be harmful.  For example, identification of genes can determine if a child may inherit from both parents any kind of mental disorder.

In animal and plant study, genetics are also important since the DNA is thehereditary material that passes the inherent properties of one species on to the next generation.

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