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The Role of Genetic Counselors in Society

Genetic counselors, as members of healthcare team, provide information and support to people at risk of or affected by genetic diseases. They act as a source of information about genetic diseases for patients, healthcare professionals, and the general public.
To identify families at risk of genetic disorder, genetic counselors gather and analyze family history, patterns of inheritance and calculate chances of reappearance. They offer information about genetic testing and associated procedures. Genetic counselors are trained to present difficult-to-comprehend and complex information about genetic testing, risks, and diagnosis to patients and families. They help people to understand the significance of genetic diseases about personal, cultural, and familial contexts.
Genetic counseling sessions include a pre-testing and post-testing session. In the initial genetic counseling, the genetic counselor determines why the patient is seeking genetic counseling. They collect and record a medical history of the patient’s family, and assess the psychological and medical history of the patient. If the patient asks for a genetic testing, the genetic counselor is often the person who communicates the results.
In general, the role of genetic counselors is to increase the people’s understanding of genetic disorders, help family and individual identify the psychosocial tools needed to face potential outcomes and to reduce the family’s anxiety.
References
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK115552/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666564/

Genetic Testing Before and During Pregnancy

Genetic testing before and during pregnancy is given to expecting or prospective parents to look for unusual genes that can cause certain diseases in their baby. Many genetic diseases are referred to as recessive disorders,” meaning that each parent must pass along an abnormal gene to the child for the child to get the disorder. In other words, if one parent screen positive for a genetic disorder but his/her partner does not, the child will not inherit the disorder. And even if both parents screen positive, there is only 25% chance the child will have the condition.
Ideally, genetic testing is done before parents start trying to get pregnant. However, because many pregnancies are accidental, many couples go for genetic testing early in pregnancy.
Getting screened before you get pregnant can help you make an informed decision or reassure you. If it turns out that couples are carriers of a certain genetic disease, they can start preparing to live with a child that has a genetic disease, choose to learn about various prenatal tests to check if their baby is healthy, or they can consider other options such as sperm or egg donation or adoption.
Once you get pregnant, getting tested can help you decide the right prenatal tests for the baby, and what to look for if you decide to have them. For instance, if you know your baby is at increased risk for having sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis, your physician can look for those disorders specifically through either amniocentesis or a CVS(chorionic villi sampling)
References
http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/genetics/tests/genetic-testing/
http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/genetics.html

Researchers Look at Genetics That are Linked to Chicken Weight Gain

To help farmers in their quest to increase the weight of their roosters and hens, researchers have been interested in searching for the specific genetics behind weight gain in chickens, known scientifically as Gallus gallus.
Using a distinctive experimentally-bred population, scientists from Uppsala University researched the genetic architecture behind chicken weight. Led by Örjan Carlborg, the research team used two different bred lines of Plymouth Rock chickens to explore weight adaptation. In their study, the researchers used an advanced inter-cross line which was founded by breeding the low and high weight lines after forty generations of selections. In the high-weight line, the average 8-week body weight was 1.412kg compared to the low weight counterparts that weighed 170 g. (About 12 % of body weight compared to the high weight line)
Using the 15th generation of the inter-cross line between the low and high weight lines, the scientists identified 20 genetic loci. Examination of these genetic loci allowed scientists to explain over 60 % of the additive genetic variance for the particular trait.
The researchers further focused on few genetic hotspots (7 of 20 genetic loci), referred to as quantitative trait loci. They found that only two could be mapped to one, well-defined loci; others had linked loci with numerous gene variants. The comprehensive dissection of the loci that contribute to the polygenic adaptations in chicken lines does provide a good understanding of the genome-wide mechanisms that are involved in the long-term selection responses.
Although the selection responses for weight were due to numerous loci of small individual effect, the genetic mechanisms in the specific loci were more complex than presumed in the model. The researchers now hope to further examine this chicken model system to increase understanding of the genetic mechanisms of weight adaptation.
References
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170718221902.htm
http://www.poultryworld.net/Genetics/Articles/2017/7/Scientists-look-at-genetics-behind-chicken-weight-gain-161926E/

Major Study has Identified Common Genetics Variants Linked to Muscle Strength

In a genome-wide association study, scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified 16 genetic variants that influence muscle strength in humans. The findings were published last week in the journal of Nature Communications.
According to senior author Professor Nick Wareham, the study highlights the role played by muscle strength in the prevention of the complications and fractures which often follow a fall. The researchers used data on hand grip strength from over 142,000 participants in the UK Biobank study and over 53,000 additional participants from the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, and Australia.
According to Dan Wright, an author and a Ph.D. student at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, the very large number of participants in the UK Biobank offer a powerful resource for recognizing genes that are involved in complex traits like muscle strength.
The 16 genetic variants associated with grip strength are POLD3, ERP27, TGFA, HOXB3, PEX14, GLIS1, MGMT, SYT1, LRPPRC, GBF1, SLC8A1, KANSL1, IGSF9B, DEC1 ACTG1, and HLA. Most of the highlighted genes play a role in biological processes relevant to the function of muscle, including function and structure of muscle fibers, and the communication of muscle cells with the nervous system.
Using the 16 genetic variants, the researchers were able to examine the hypothesized causal link between adverse health outcomes and muscle strength.
References
http://www.sci-news.com/genetics/common-genetic-variants-muscle-strength-05035.html
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/common-strength-genes-identified-for-first-time

Hackers’ treasure box – ‘Cloud’

Lots of people – almost all people maybe- use ‘cloud’ for their own warehouse of private information. ‘Google Drive’ and ‘I Cloud’ can be the examples of those named ‘Cloud’. Not in the internal storage such as a computer or mobile phone, but in the external storage server, people can download or upload their files. These cloud systems made people’s lives so much comfortable.

iCloud :: 아이클라우드 사용법 1탄, 기본적인 설정 및 아이클라우드 소개

However, ‘I Cloud’ -the cloud system served by ‘Apple’ company- had recently been hacked by the unknown hackers!!! According to a BBC News report in January 2014, hundreds of British and American celebrities’ pictures had been spilled. Following to this incident, lots of people are worrying about their private information being spilled out. Then, why are the hackers aiming to hack these ‘Cloud’ systems despite their advanced security systems – which leads hackers to spend lots of money?

Before hacking the server, the hackers approximately measure how much money would be spent and be earned after hacking the server. This is because the reason why hackers hack is just to get the incomes. For Cloud Systems, however, they can give more than hackers pay to hack the servers’ security systems. There are three big reasons why Cloud Systems give much benefit to the hackers.

The first reason is that the Cloud Systems contain a lot of important information in them. From individuals to large businesses, big data are stored in the Cloud Systems. Thus, the hackers can hold a mortgage on the information and earn much money. The second reason is that since the Cloud Systems are one of the kinds of server systems, diffusion of malignant codes is easily done. For example, the hackers can make malignant codes as the update files falsely and make people to be infected in those codes readily. Lastly, since Cloud Systems are made to share files among people, malignant codes can be shared among people easily. To be specific, sharing infected files with other people make other people’s files to be infected, too.

Cloud Systems are commonly used among lots of people in this world. The security systems on the server were not that weak systems, too. However, the hackers decided to hack since the server makes more benefit to the hackers more than they need to spend for passing the security systems. This is the matter of course, but the Cloud Systems necessarily need to be reinforced in security systems until the hackers profit being canceled out. After then, the hackers might lose the motivation to hack the Cloud System Servers and the private information. I hope this world to be safer in the online world, too.

References:

http://www.sciencetimes.co.kr/?p=162359&cat=135&post_type=news

Smog Free Tower

As time goes, the world is suffering more and more because of the increasing fine dust. Especially in China, lots of factories make fine dust and spreads out all over the world. The problem is that the fine dust cannot be filtered by the hairs of the nostrils, causing lots of diseases from the bronchial diseases to the severe diseases. Therefore, many people in the world are trying to get rid of this ‘Fine Dust Problem’. Meanwhile, one of the artist (also known as a designer) in Netherlands named ‘Daan Roosegaarde’ designed a 7 meters high air purifier at Beijing.

094. 스모그 프리 타워

Theoretically, this tower can purify more than 60% of the surrounding 30,000㎥ of air. Moreover, since the most of the existing fine dust came from coal, which is the molecule made by carbon, diamond can be manufactured by processing the filtered substances by high-temperature. At least one diamond can be made by 1,000㎥ of pollutants.

Lewis structure of graphite에 대한 이미지 검색결과[짜판] 안철수 ‘스모그 프리타워’ 공약 뜯어보니

(Lewis structure of Graphite) 

However, this theoretical idea had been removed only after 42 days from its construction. The reason why is that this air purifier did not have real efficiency as people expected. It was no more than a ‘designed’ machine for ‘International Design Festival’. It was not able to purify the surrounding air from the fine dust.

As the world expected, the fine dust problem was not just a simple problem. The problem which suffered us for long period of time does not leave from our daily-life readily. However, the idea of cleaning the air using a large air purifier and further making diamond was fresh and great. No one can have doubt on that the challenge of human to nature is respectful and never-ending.

Importance of Knowing Your Family Medical History

A record of health information about an individual’s close relatives is known as a family medical history. A complete record contains information from at least three generations of relatives, including parents, sisters and brothers, uncle and aunts, nephews and nieces, cousins, grandparents, and children.
Families have numerous factors in common, including their lifestyle, environment, and genes. Together, those factors may determine medical conditions that may exist in your family. By observing disorders pattern among relatives, professional in the healthcare field can determine whether future generators, a person, or other family members may be at risk of developing a specific condition.
A good family medical history enables healthcare professional to identify individuals with a higher-than-usual likelihood of having some disorders, such as diabetes, certain cancers, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. These disorders are influenced, to a large extent, by a combination of environmental conditions, lifestyle choices and genetic factors. Also, a family history can shed some light on the risk of rarer disorders caused by mutations, such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.
Although a family medical record can provide information about the likelihood of a person to develop a particular disorder, having relatives with certain medical conditions does not mean a person will certainly develop those conditions. An individual with no family history of a condition, on the other hand, may still be at risk of having that condition.
References
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/inheritance/familyhistory
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK115560/