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The study of genetics has evolved since the nineteenth centuary where Mendel studied the

inheritance of various traits in peas (Snustad & Simmons, 2012). More recently genetics has
propelled the world to many technological advances with extended applications to medicine,
agriculture and crime detection (Snustad & Simmons, 2012).

Medicine and genetics mostly collaborate within the sphere of diagnosis for dieseases as all
medical conditions except trauma have a gentic component (Liefers & Tollenaar, 2002). A
patient’s genetic family history may be investigated in order to determine the necessity for
early treatment and prevention of inheritance by future generations (Liefers & Tollenaar,
2002). A faction of medicine which particularly deals with this is genetic counselling. Genetic
counsellors which specialise in the inheritance of mutant genes (e.g cancer) and chromosonal
abnormalites (e.g. autism) for early detection and diagnosis (Liefers & Tollenaar, 2002). New
approaches to medication have also been introduced due to gentics in the form of molecular
genetics whereby insulin is produced in industrial amount by tanks of bacterial carring the
human insulin gene (Snustad & Simmons, 2012).

Agriculture and genetics have a long historical association with each other which contiues to
this day through the crossbreeding of organisms with desirable traits to create a more efficient
hybrid (Ronald, 2001). The desirable traits may include a resistance to diesease, pests,
environmental temperature changes, larger nutrional food production applying to both crops
and animals which once they are crossbred are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
(Ronald, 2001). An example to illustrate this is the Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) corn which
produces a protein toxic to pests like the European bore insunuating the development of the
plant’s own insecticide (Ronald, 2001).

Crime detection is one of the most recent application of genetics that uses evidence from a
victim or crime scene to determine perpetrator of a crime that involved a struggle (e.g. murder,
rape) or to determine paternity in dipusted cases by a process called genetic fingerprinting
(Jeffereys, 2005). Blood, semen, hair, skin or saliva may be used to retrive deoxyribose nucleic
acid (DNA) for analysis through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (Jeffereys, 2005). PCR
fragments DNA into different lengths while electric current runs through the DNA which
causes it to move and form a particular ladder pattern according to the DNA fragment lengths
(Jeffereys, 2005). The PCR ladder of a victim is compared to the suspect for a match and if
positive the suspect is confirmed as a perpertor (Jeffereys, 2005).
Upon the analysis for the basis for the afore mentioned technological advancements in
medicine, agriculture and crime detection it is evident that genetics is not just applicable but
also the basis for the progression (Snustad & Simmons, 2012).


Jeffereys A.J., 2005, Genetic Fingerprinting, Nature Medicine, 11, p. 1035-1039.

Liefers G.J. & Tollenaar R.A.E.M., 2002, Cancer Genetics And Their Application To
Individuaised Medicine, European Journal Of Cancer, 38:7, p. 872-879.

Ronald P, 2011, Plant Genetics: Substainable Agriculture And Global Food Security,
Genetics, 188:1, p. 11-20

Snustad D.P. & Simmons M.J., 2012, Genetics, 6th edn, John Wiley & Sons Inc., Singapore