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Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson will describe how diseases can be predicted by genetic testing, which is cause for ethical discussion.

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Modern genetic testing is able to examine human DNA and reveal mutations in genes that can cause disease. Genetic mutations can be inherited by offspring. By comparing a human's DNA with a control sample, scientists are able to distinguish DNA mutations.

Mutation of certain genes can cause illness and disease.


Example:  Mutations occurring in the 16th chromosome have been linked to developmental disorders.


Human activities and environmental factors can increase the frequency of gene mutations.

Smoking and X-ray exposure are causes of gene mutation.


Ethical Concern

The privacy of genetic information is a cause for ethical concern.  If insurance companies deny someone insurance based on their genetic predisposition for certain diseases, is that ethical? 


Human DNA lab results

Source: Biology Concepts & Connections Fifth Edition Neil A. Campbell, et all.

Genetic Testing