Monitoring genetic disorders essential

Monitoring genetic disorders essential

DNA is a hereditary material in humans and almost all other living organisms, and plays a vital role in transforming the character of a human being,...

DNA is a hereditary material in humans and almost all other living organisms, and plays a vital role in transforming the character of a human being, said Prof. PB Kavi Kishore of Osmania University on Tuesday.

Delivering his keynote address at an international conference on ‘Genomics - Stem Cells’ organised by the departments of zoology, botany and chemistry of Kakaraparti Bhavanarayana (KBN) College, in association with the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, he said, “DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is located in the cell nucleus. A small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria called as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA. The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases and more than 99 per cent of those bases are the same in all people.”

“DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar and phosphate are called a nucleotide.

Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. An important property of DNA is that it can replicate or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell,” he said.

Krishna University (KRU) Vice-Chancellor V Venkaiah attributed the rapid growth of diseases in human beings in modern times to the interrelated genetic disorders. “Although drugs are being developed to control genetic diseases, more focus should be laid on prevention. Diseases like cerbovascular, cancer, HIV/AIDS and bronchitis are passed down through generations. It is possible to prevent their spread to a certain extent by doing regular physical exercises and undergoing regular medical checkups. Many people do not notice their genetic disease till they attain the age of 40 or 50 and by that time they would have already had children. Thus genetic diseases are spreading. Hence, people who have a history of genetic diseases in their family should undergo regular medical check-ups to keep the diseases at bay,'' he said.

College secretary S Rajith Kumar, principal V Narayana Rao, department heads V Subhashini (zoology), Ch Radhika (botany) and G Krishnaveni (chemistry), junior college principal T Bhagya Kumar and representatives of various colleges attended the conference.

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