Genetics is the study of heredity, the process in which a parent passes certain
- Likelihood of getting certain diseases
- Mental abilities
- Natural talents
An abnormal trait (anomaly) passed down through families (inherited) may:
- Have no effect on your health or well being -- for example, it may just involve a white patch of hair or an extended earlobe
- Be of minor consequence -- for example,
- Have a dramatic effect on your quality or length of life
For most genetic disorders, genetic counseling is advised. Many people may also want to seek prenatal diagnosis.
The terms anomaly, abnormality, disorder, defect, disease, and syndrome are not used consistently, and do not have precise definitions.
Homozygous; Inheritance; Heterozygous; Inheritance patterns; Heredity and disease; Heritable; Genetic markers
Review Date: 04/26/2010
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.