BIOS 2250 - CH 1
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by hw767714 on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Bios 2250 at Ohio University taught by Dr. Sugiyama in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 113 views. For similar materials see Genetics in Human Society in Biology at Ohio University.
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Date Created: 01/22/16
BIOS 2250 – GENETICS IN HUMAN SOCIETY ____________________________ Chapter 1: Introduction ___________________________ What is genetics? Genetics is the scientific study of heredity. Geneticists study how traits and genetic diseases are expressed and passed down from generation to generation. Some traits and genetic diseases are more heritable than others. A gene is a string of nucleotides in a DNA molecule. Genes carry the information that controls what a cell will look like and the job it will perform. ▬ There are 4 different nucleotides in DNA: Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine. While researching pea plants and their genetics, Gregor Mendel discovered how genes are passed from parents to offspring in both plants and animals. Prior to his study, it was believed that both of the parent traits were blended together to form the offspring’s trait. Mendel’s research revealed the roles of recessive and dominant traits. DNA databases are used to store genetic records of an entire population. These are used to compare and identify genes and genetic diseases. Iceland uses their genetic database for genetic research. The U.S., Canada, the U.K., etc all use their databases for criminal justice. The Genetic Discrimination Act passed in 2008 prohibits the discrimination in the workplace and by insurance companies against people with genetic abnormalities and diseases. Eugenics Francis Galton proposed the idea of eugenics. Eugenics is the idea that by eliminating the “undesirable” traits from the gene pool, we can improve the human species as a whole. ▬ Individuals who possessed “desirable” traits such as intelligence, musical ability, and leadership were encouraged to have large families. ▬ Individuals who possessed “undesirable” traits such as mental retardation, physical deformities, being “promiscuous”, etc. were strongly discouraged from reproducing to try to improve the gene pool. Galton believed that all traits were passed down without any outside influences from one’s environment. The idea that all human traits were handed down through genetic inheritance without any consideration of the person’s environment is called hereditarianism. BIOS 2250 – GENETICS IN HUMAN SOCIETY During the eugenics movement, the United States passed laws requiring people who were mentally, morally, and intellectually inferior to be sterilized. ▬ These laws were enforced from 1907-1979. ▬ Around 10% of the United States population was forced to undergo sterilization. ▬ One of the most famous cases from this movement was Buck v. Bell. Carrie Buck was forced into sterilization after being labeled “feebleminded” due to her intelligence deficits and “promiscuous” due to her child out of wedlock. Upon further investigation, we have found that Buck’s “feeblemindedness” was actually just a poor education and her child out of wedlock wasn’t due to “promiscuity”; Carrie Buck was raped. Carrie Buck was sterilized because of wrongful assumptions. Eugenics was also used as a justification for genocide. (Not only sterilizing, but killing people with undesirable genetic traits, deformities, and diseases.) “New” eugenics doesn’t allow genocide or sterilization, but the idea of improving the human species is carried out in different ways. ▬ Health maintenance organizations requiring an in utero screening and then denying a “defective” child healthcare coverage ties into eugenics. ▬ Fixing defective genes by inserting the healthy version of that gene also strongly ties into eugenics. Liberal eugenics is the belief that the use of both genetic and reproductive technologies to enhance human traits is left to each set of parents.
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