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The Huntington's Disease

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The Huntington’s disease

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Nancy Wexler is an American geneticist at Columbia University as the Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology. She is known for discovering the location of the gene causing Huntington’s disease. She works in the field of genetics despite earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Currently, she works as the president of the Hereditary Disease Foundation clinic initiated by her father. The personal situation that motivated her to take up the study was the prevalence of Huntington’s disease in her family (Quarrell, 2008). Her grandfather, mother and three uncles died of the disease. She got prepared professionally for this task from the bright background as her father was a psychoanalyst while the mother was a geneticist. She also made up her mind to go for the gene testing hence added to her credibility. Additionally, the doctoral thesis she wrote on the emotional features of people at risk for Huntington’s disease also helped her.
She contributed to the effort to produce a chromosomal test to identify carriers of the disease. Hungitin protein encoded by the Huntington’s gene plays a significant role in the neurons of the brain for development before birth. In cells, this protein is involved in transporting materials, chemical signaling, binding to proteins, and protects the cells from self-destruction. The coding area of the gene contains the DNA sequence repeated many times. People infected with Huntington disease have a high number of the DNA which disrupts the working of the gene protein (Quarrell, 2008). The disease is inherited in an autosomal pattern, meaning those inheriting the faulty gene will get the disease. Results of the findings help patients to test for Huntington disease to determine if a person has a likelihood of developing or escaping the disease. However, the position of the gene...

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