Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CF genetics 101

I was talking about lung tx and CF with a colleague today, so here is a brief genetic explanation from our discussion

CF is the most common fatal genetic disease in the US, mainly affecting caucasians and certain other ethnic groups. To determine the presence of CF, the following genetic diagram may be helpful.

A= dominant gene a= recessive gene

Most of the time, a dominant gene wins out (obviously) and is seen in the child. Dark hair is a dominant gene, for example.

So, two parents that are Aa and Aa for CF will yield the following chances for each kid:

--AA: Child does not have CF and is NOT a carrier (he has both dominant genes)
--Aa: Child does NOT have CF, but is a CARRIER of CF, meaning that if that person marries another Aa person, they have a 1 in 4 (25%) chance of having a child with CF.
--Aa (same as above)
--aa: Child HAS CF (this would be me).

A family note: recessive genes seem to take the cake in my family. My dad is a dark haired Italian. My mom is a blond German-Irish/Scots. The three of us? See below.

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