4 Reasons Why Genetic Research is So Important
Genetic research is the process of testing genetics, otherwise known as DNA testing, to understand blood lines and the genetic diagnosis of susceptibilities to inherit diseases related to lineage. Not only is DNA testing a fascinating sector of science, it is also very practical and useful in modern day society.
Genetic testing is currently helpful for social, legal, historical and medical purposes. Although, the overall body of knowledge related to genetic research is growing rapidly. This means that in the future we will understand more about genetics and be able to apply the newfound knowledge within more facets of society. Below is a list of four reasons why genetic research is important in today’s world.
1. History of Humans
The expansive history of humans can be understood by scientists through studies of genetics and DNA. The known connections between different groups of people proved through genetic research can help historians and anthropologists better understand historic human migration patterns. Understanding this is important because it helps us understand where we came from and why we are the way we are.
The history of humans is also used for individual ancestry testing. Many people want to know their own personal genealogy and ancestry which can be done easily with companies such as CRI Genetics.
2. Illnesses and Treatments
One of the most important reasons why genetic research is crucial is to understand the genetics behind human diseases. Many genetic disorders are not treatable, but early diagnosis can greatly improve the quality of life of the impacted individual and possibly extend their lifespan.
Examples of genetic disorders are cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and hemochromatosis. There is a lot of genetic research being done to improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from genetic disorders and even eliminate all symptoms entirely.
In addition, there are diagnostic tests available for couples to determine whether to risk passing on specific disease related genes to their children. Diagnostic tests assist with in vitro fertility by specifically selecting embryos that do not carry dangerous genes.
3. Genetic Enhancements
Perhaps one of the most controversial topics within the genetic research community, genetic enhancements refers to the modification of non pathological human traits through transfer of genetic material. In simpler terms, genetic enhancements aim to optimize specific attributes or capabilities of humans.
The concept behind genetic enhancements almost seems like it is out of a science fiction novel! However, genetic enhancements are closer to reality than you may think.
For example, human growth hormone at one point was not readily available, but it was understood that it could be prescribed to children who are below a normal height to stimulate growth. Today, as a result of genetic research, human growth hormone is frequently used to treat children who are not growing quickly enough.
4. Legal Uses
Human DNA has popularly been used in criminal cases ever since the use of DNA in legal scenarios was brought to light in O.J. Simpson’s trial in the 1990s. Since the 90s, the forensic techniques have improved and the general use of human DNA in forensics has increased.
More specifically, human genetic information has been used to match or rule out a suspect’s DNA against biological evidence found at a crime scene. Human genetic information has also been used to identify victims and exonerate convicted individuals through use of modern genetic methods not available at the initial conviction period.
Finally, paternity testing is commonly used in legal scenarios as well. Sometimes the father of a child must be factually identified as a part of legal proceedings.