Genetic research uses DNA, genes, and other health information to study the links to different types of health conditions. This type of research explores why some people are more likely than others to get certain diseases. This type of research may show why some people respond to certain medicines or have side effects from other medicines. The long-term goals of genetic research are to learn how to better understand, prevent, diagnose or treat diseases.
Some genetic research looks at a small portion of your genes, while other genetic research may study all of your genes. Research that looks at all of your genes is usually trying to find out if there is an association between a medical condition and a change in one or more genes.
Some genetic research will study how certain genes are influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors like smoke exposure or exercise. The goal of this type of research is to understand how our lifestyle and environment could either increase our risk of or protect us from health conditions that run in our family.
A ‘biobank’ is a collection or bank of biological samples, such as blood, urine, tissue, and DNA that are linked to health information, and are used for scientific research.
In this study, you will not be asked to take any medication, receive treatment, or change your behaviors. We will just collect samples and health information for researchers to study.
Your specimen consists of many cells. These cells contain genetic information called DNA that is inherited from your parents. DNA provides a code that instructs the cells in our bodies to do specific things. In some cases, abnormalities in the DNA can put us at risk for certain diseases
Genes are parts of the DNA code that direct cells to perform certain functions. Genes contain the instructions that tell our bodies how to grow and work, and determine physical features such as hair and eye color.
Genetic variants (or mutations)
Genetic variants or mutations are changes in DNA that can increase a person’s risk for developing diseases. Genetic variants can affect the chance that a person will respond to a medication, or the chance that a person will have side effects or toxicity from a medication.
Genes are also used to make proteins. Proteins help carry out the instructions present in our genes. They do many things in the body such as keeping our skin together, protecting us from infections, digesting the foods we eat, and helping us to think.
Research on proteins is important to identify their functions and to understand how the genes that produce them are altered in disease.
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