Category: population genetics

Does Your Child Suffer From Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Does Your Child Suffer From Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) is a term used to describe a range of conditions that occur to a person whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. People that suffer from this may have physical problems or suffer from impaired vision and hearing. Also, they tend to have difficulty in learning and communicating.

In a nutshell, the effects are usually physical and mental problems. There are various types of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders, yet, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is considered the most severe.

Causes of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

When a baby is a womb, it is still developing its organs, regardless of the trimester. That includes organs such as the brain and the liver. That said, when the mother consumes the alcohol, it passes through the placenta to the baby.

Due to the baby’s undeveloped liver, the alcohol is not well processed by the baby. Hence, the ability to cause physical damage to the baby’s organs. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is also known to cause miscarriage.

The alcohol inhibits the proper circulation of oxygen and nutrition that the baby requires.

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

As previously mentioned, the effects are usually physical and mental problems. However, they also include social and behavioral problems. That said, the severity of the symptom varies. Let us take a look at some of them.

Physical Symptoms

There a few distinctive features that tend to stand out, and one needs to look out for. They include:

  • Small eye openings
  • Thin upper lip
  • The head is smaller than usual head
  • They are shorter than normal in terms of height
  • The ridge between the nose and upper lip (The Philtrum) is smooth
  • Vision and hearing impairment
  • Heart defects and problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Slow physical growth
  • Abnormal bone growth

Social And Behavioral Problems

  • Poor time management
  • Problems making new friends or maintaining friendships
  • Poor task management
  • Difficulty setting goals and keeping them

Mental Problems

  • Brain size is smaller than usual
  • Growth of brain is slow
  • Very hyperactive
  • Problems maintaining attention
  • Difficulty in learning, especially with Math
  • Problems in speech, as well as learning any language
  • Problems with coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble remembering anything (Memory problems)

Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

You should not drink at all when pregnant. It is advisable that you steer clear of any form of an alcoholic beverage if you are pregnant, or working towards pregnancy. Most women often realize that they are pregnant three months later.

Staying completely away from alcohol is the best prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This includes all types of wines and other alcoholic beverages.

LINKAGE BETWEEN GENETICS AND ADDICTION

LINKAGE BETWEEN GENETICS AND ADDICTION

There is a convinced link between a person’s DNA segment and addiction they form. Sometimes it comes from your societal surrounding, peers, poor mental state or stress but that is not always the situation actually. One can be trapped simply in drug addiction of any kind due to its genetics which comes from family straight away. Everyone has certain probability to form an addiction, as the bodily mechanism of dependence occurs in your brain irrespective of liquor or drug exposure. When your mind practices something pleasing, it forms nerve pathways that crave the pleasurable substance repetitively. The illness of addiction forms when those nerve pathways become more continuing and swerve.

However, as exposed in a study directed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, those with direct family who fight addiction have a 50 to 60 percent more possibilities of becoming an alcoholic or drug abuser at some point in their lifespan. This increases the question as to whether addiction is triggered by inheritances alone, or the atmosphere in which a child is raised up. Conferring to a study led by the Colorado Adoption Project, a genetic association does increase the probability of addiction, even when children are not raised in an atmosphere that encourages addiction. Their genetics play a vital factor in general hazard of addiction even when they are not frequently uncovered to drugs and alcohol. However, a parallel research displays that atmosphere plays an even greater part in addiction problems and stoppage.

At least semi of a person’s vulnerability to drug dependence can be associated to genetic aspects. Announcers at an April 8 congressional hearing sketched new investigation on the genetic origin for addiction and suggested ways to incorporate those findings into cure. The hearing was prearranged by APA’s Science Government Relations Office.

Investigators first need to handle and solve public misinterpretation and disbelief regarding genetic testing. That means doctors and the public need to better realize the connections between genetics and addiction, stated Alexandra Shields, director of the Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities. Based on a state survey, lone 5 percent of primary-care physicians sense self-assured in their capability to understand genetic tests, and only 4 percent would feel self-confident telling treatment grounded on genetics.

There are very respectable explanations for physicians to pay consideration to the impact advances in genetic testing are expected to have on their capability to handle patients, said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Exploitation. “Understanding the multifaceted connections between the factors involved in drug abuse and habit is dangerous to their effective stoppage and treatment,” she said. With new statistics quickly piling up, doctors might soon be able to incorporate genetic tests in their training, permitting them to well match exact treatments to individuals.

Is corn the new milk? Evolutionarily speaking, that is.

Is corn the new milk? Evolutionarily speaking, that is.

 

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colorful fall corn Corn. Photo by srqpix.

ResearchBlogging.orgIt is a widespread misconception that, as we developed the technology to reshape our environment to our preferences, human beings neutralized the power of natural selection. Quite the opposite is true: some of the best-known examples of recent evolutionary change in humans are attributable to technology. People who colonized high-altitude environments were selected for tolerance of low-oxygen conditions in the high Himalayas and Andes; populations that have historically raised cattle for milk evolved the ability to digest milk sugars as adults.

A recent study of population genetics in Native American groups suggests that another example is ripening in the experimental fields just a few blocks away from my office at the University of Minnesota: Corn, or maize, may have exerted natural selection on the human populations that first cultivated it.

The target of this new study is an allele called 230Cys, a variant of a gene involved in transporting cholesterol. 230Cys is known only in Native American populations, and it’s associated with abnormally low production of HDL cholesterol (that’s the “good” kind of cholesterol) and thereby increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In Native American populations, the genetic code near 230Cys shows the reduced diversity associated with a selective sweep, which suggests that, although it’s not particuarly helpful now, this variant may have been favored by selection in the past.

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