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How genetics can help you have healthier offspring?

Currently, we are considering a creative project; doing a genetic mapping could avoid many genetic diseases inherited by our offspring. We are talking about a very cheap test for which the only thing that is needed is our saliva or rubbing a cotton stick inside our mouth.

We don’t need to pass a genetic disease to our offspring. There are monogenic diseases, that is, genetic diseases caused by the mutation or alteration of a single gene, of which we can be carriers and never experience or have experienced the illness. However, this disease can affect our lineage and other future descendants.

Carrying out the genetic mapping to identify some of these monogenic diseases will give us an evident vision of the risk that our lineage has of inheriting and suffering such a condition.

In an autosomal recessive disease, usually, the gametes of the mother and the father, being carriers, do not present any symptom of the disease. However, being the two carriers of the mutated gene, their descendants have a 25% probability of expressing the disease since both must transmit the mutated gene. If the genetic map of the gametes or ancestors shows us this result in one or more monogenetic conditions, there are several solutions. One of them could be in vitro fertilization: once we have several embryos (fertilized eggs), we can sequence them, study which ones have inherited the mutated genes, and use an embryo that we know for sure is free of that disease.

In the case of an autosomal dominant disease, usually one of the gametes or mother or father does suffer from the disease, and the chances of their offspring inheriting the disease are 50%, as it will be necessary for their lineage to receive that dominant mutated gene. Again, one of the solutions is in vitro fertilization, to be able to sequence several embryos and thus choose the healthy ones.

This whole process may seem complicated, our opinion, looking at the cost-benefit, is that there is no doubt that everyone should do this simple thing to reduce the chances of a genetic disease in our offspring.

Having a healthy lineage is something that depends on many factors, some we can control, others are still unknown, and we depend on our luck. Some diseases have a genetic cause, and others do not. We don’t even know how to detect many genetic disorders today, but our studies allow us to rule out an extensive list of conditions in a SIMPLE way. It is a luxury that many people would have like to know in advance to prevent or reduce the consequences.

With our genetic maps, you will be able to identify a large number of Monogenic Diseases that are avoidable in many cases.

Written by Manuel de la Mata

Geneticist

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