Nigel Laing, a professor of human genetics at UWA and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, goes over his findings on recessive diseases throughout his informative talk on genetics.
He starts out by going over what causes a recessive disease to form in the body, which means inheriting two bad copies of the same gene from two carriers. When this takes place, an individual is born with a recessive disease. The most well-known disease of this kind is cystic fibrosis he says, however there are hundreds of others that are much more severe.
One such disease is spinal muscular atrophy, which destroys the nerves that allow one's muscles to move, resulting in a lack of mobility. Despite the fact that this disease isn't talked about nearly as much as cystic fibrosis, the number of people who carry it is relatively high. Nigel Laing continues his talk on genetics by going over how families have dealt with these diseases throughout time. He says prenatal diagnoses are of high importance concerning this, as they allow parents who might be carriers to avoid the risk of having children with incredibly debilitating diseases.
With his research, Nigel Laing has helped to identify more that 30 human disease genes and reduced the likelihood of them from being passed on.
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