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Molecular Genetic Diagnostics in the 21st Century - Term Paper Example

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This paper is about molecular genetic diagnostics in the 21st century. This work describes the main aspects of development in genetic diagnostic technologies and their role in medical science. It also discusses the ways of dealing with some diseases…
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Molecular Genetic Diagnostics in the 21st Century
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Download file to see previous pages Even as the civil society waits to take full advantage of this quantum leap in medical science, a few scientific, ethical and practical issues remain unaddressed yet.
New genetic technologies promise to radically alter the conventional methods of medical diagnostics. For constituents of the healthcare industry, they offer a commercial opportunity. The progress that we are witnessing in genetic diagnostics presages a revolution in the way the health care industry is organized. For example, the existing technology allows practitioners to ascertain a patient’s vulnerability to certain hereditary conditions. Quite soon, diagnostic techniques will advance to a level where genetic tests will indicate who will respond well to a drug, who will respond poorly, and who will suffer adverse reactions. Researchers at Bristol-Myers Squibb, for instance, “have shown that different individuals have different degrees of responsiveness to the cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol, depending on which of two variants of a polymorphism encodes the cholesterol ester-transfer protein (CETP)” (Petersen & Bunton, 2002). In a few other cases, the central issue isn't the level of patient responsiveness but the risk of a negative reaction to the drug. To cite a recent example, patients, whose carry mutations in the CYP3A family of cytochrome P450 enzymes, can have fatal cardiac reactions to the antihistamine Seldane if they are also taking the antibiotic erythromycin. Such discoveries about the dynamic processes of molecular genetics can help Doctors to tailor their prognosis to the needs of the particular patient (Petersen & Bunton, 2002).

“Hypertension can be treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers, as well as with calcium channel blockers. But not all patients respond to these medications in the same way: many doctors now tend to prescribe ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers to African-Americans, for instance, because these drugs seem to work more effectively on them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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