Human Genetics Resource
Genes are short strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that control the functions of living things. Over 25,000 genes are estimated to be contained in the human body, and each gene provides a specific function. All humans have the same basic genetic blueprint, which differs from that of any other organism. Within this blueprint however, genetic mutations and inherited traits occur to make each human being unique. An individual's specific genetic code determines physical characteristics such as eye, hair, and skin color.
One of the most well studied areas of human genetics is that of genetic based diseases. The development of birth defects, mental illness, mental retardation, and cancer all have a genetic basis and almost all human diseases are believed to have a genetic origin. Mapping of the human genome and genetic testing has given scientist and doctors tools to determine some of the genetic diseases that occur. Such knowledge is important for diagnosis and treating various conditions. It has also become an important aspect of preventative medicine, being used to test for genetic conditions before birth and develop early treatment options.
Genetics and Family History
Genetic Disorder Types
Defining Single Gene Defects or Mutations
Neural Tube Defects
Genetics and Physical Traits
Genetics Newsletters and Publications
Genetics Support and Advocacy Groups
Genome & Genotyping Projects