Doctor insights on:
Tumor supression: The p53 gene, is a tumor suppressor gene, i.e., its activity stops the formation of tumors. If a person inherits only one functional copy of the p53 gene from their parents, they are predisposed to cancer and usually develop several independent tumors in a variety of tissues in early adulthood. This condition is rare, and is known as li-fraumeni syndrome. ...Read more
Random: Every once in a great while, a random event or some form or radiation or a chemical will cause one or more bases in a strand of dna to differ from its origin. From the point of view of the design of life itself, without the ability of the genes to mutate, new forms of life could not develop by natural selection, but every person with genetic disease or cancer pays the price for this mechanism. ...Read more
Maybe: Your kids get only half their gene pair from you. In some conditions a mutation causes a dominant gene to form, and only one gene would be needed to pass on a condition. (50% risk).Some gene mutations are recessive, requiring a mutated gene from both parents to be expressed. (25% risk if both parents carried a defect). ...Read more
Gene activation: Turning on and off different genes is a complex process. Some genes turn on 50 years after birth and some are switched off at different phases of our life. We stop growing, we develop hypertension and we may have a genetically associated disease or cancer. There is no way I know of to turn genes on or off. Maybe that's how exercise and weight loss work though. Who knows. ...Read more
Bad information: Mutated p53 passed from parent to child is underactive and predisposes one to early and unusual cancers. As a cancer develops, p53 activity is often lost through mutation. There's a mutant mouse with overactive p53 that seems to age rapidly because p53 clears cells that may be injured. Don't worry about it. ...Read more
You cannot change your genes, but you can definitely affect the expression of your genes - by about 75% in many cases. It depends on the gene.
Environment would include many things, like consumption of certain nutrients, toxins, hormones, stress, sleep, etc.
Epigenetics refers to the expression of your genes. ...Read more
Mostly unknown: We are aware that this happens and that the cell grows and matures by turning on and off genes. The biochemical means by which this is done is mostly unknown and is the subject of intense research. The answer to this probably will allow much improved therapy and probably ways to treat conditions such as cancer which involves the wrong genes being activated. ...Read more
Yes: We are all thought to carry at least 3-4 copies of a gene variant that would produce a significant metabolic or structural disorder if paired with a similar defect at conception. Most taboos about having kids with close relatives are based on this risk/experience. If you have a defect, the type of risk varies with the genetics involved. Those with dominant defects have 50% risk/conception. ...Read more
Yes: This is a work in progress. Some genes (present or absent) determine the efficiency or even presence of enzymes which can chew up toxins in your body. There are certainly many to be discovered that will help in this as well as determine the effectiveness of drugs. This whole area is termed pharmacogenetics. ...Read more
Everything: Genes are entirely responsible for how we look, sound, and even taste and hear. We are a combination of things passed down through our genes from our previous generations. Most of your traits are not simply one from one parent and another from the other, but multiple possibilites of gene combinations. ...Read more
Rarely yes: Almost all patients with tay-sach lack hexosaminidse a activity due to mutations in the hex a gene. The infantile form have less than 5% activity while the juvenile and adult forms have partial deficiencies. A very small subset of patients have normal hex a activity but have a mutation in the gm2 activator gene that codes for the intralysosomal protein, gm2 activator that degrades gangliosides. ...Read more
Genes: They control what each cell does and how it grows by controlling the proteins a cell makes. Great google question. But looks light how tall you are are strongly genetic traits but we do not know the genes that control them. ...Read more
Depends: You get one half of your genes from your mom and one half from your father - as they did in the generation before. So, 1/8 from each grandparent - assuming there is no incest. However - many genes are similar - so you get the bulk of your genes as a common pool for all humans - we really are all alike on the inside ...Read more