Empires of blood – diseases carried on genes

This article is a fast-breaking version of the article that will be published on the editorial platforms of the BBC’s health and wellbeing channels.


It’s the process of replacing some genes with those of a different species.

It is understood that selection helped this process evolve by ensuring that a variety of diseases and conditions could be overcome.

Genetics were initially understood as the activity of one or more genes, but there are now diverse reasons for using different genome editing techniques to alter our genetic make-up.

Genes and disorders

Both of our genes contain long stretches of DNA.

If we are to be healthy and help our body to adapt to certain environmental factors, these long stretches of DNA need to be switched on and off.

If we are to be fully developed and able to take part in the best of society, then they need to be switched on properly.

And many of these have been incorrectly switched off because of an incorrect interpretation of how genes work.

Inbreeding with a common ancestor and inbreeding with other living or extinct relatives may have already given us the wrong genetic makeup to cope with certain harmful environmental conditions.

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