Curriculum on genetic health required: Scientists

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Amritsar, Feb 18: There was a need to spread awareness about the genetic diseases and a simple book should be added to the school curriculum on the subject, distinguished international genetic scientists stressed here.

The rate of Cancer, Cardiovascular and Diabetes could be lessened with proper genetic counseling and many complications avoided by spreading awareness about risks of consanguineous marriages, felt a galaxy of distinguished international genetic scientists participating in the 5th International Symposium on Genetic, Health and Disease here yesterday. However, they also pointed out that before introducing an expensive genetic tests into general practice the benefits of their use must be evaluated.

The need of the hour was to develop an evidence-based evaluation process for genetic tests or other applications of genomic knowledge in transition from research into practice, Prof Irmgard Nippert of University of Muenster of Germany said while presenting a paper in the symposium organised by the Guru Nanak Dev University here.

Consanguineous marriages should be avoided as they contribute to high risk for genetic diseases, stressed renowned Geniticist Prof Karl Sperling. He suggested that genetic counseling and awareness about the genetic diseases should be provided to the couples and the youngsters. The participants were of the view that simple text books on genetics should be added to the school curriculum.More than 400 delegates including 60 from 25 countries are participating in the international conference.The participants said due to the effective working of Genetic Disorders Centers, more than 2000 genetic diseases have been diagnosed so far.

The whole Genome has been sequenced and the process has become less expensive and would become cheaper, due to the new emerging technologies in genetics.

A distinguished Geneticist from Brown University, US, Prof Surendra Sharma speaking on Regulation of Pregnancy-Associated Disorders highlighted that pregnancy constitutes a major challenge to the maternal pathways of immune system, hormonal regulation and fetal-maternal exchanges.

However, this gives scientists, counselors and doctors a special responsibility to make sure that all the citizens benefit from the same high standards of genetics care. Prof K Satyamoorthy from Manipal University, said the genetics was increasingly using genomic information for drug therapy.


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