Genetic predisposition

Genetic predisposition

A genetic predisposition is a genetic effect which influences the phenotype of an organism but which can be modified by the environmental conditions. Genetic testing is able to identify individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain health problems.


Predisposition is the capacity we are born with to learn things such as language and concept of self. Negative environmental influences may block the predisposition (ability) we have to do some things. Behaviors displayed by animals can be influenced by genetic predispositions. Genetic predisposition towards certain human behaviors is scientifically investigated by attempts to identify patterns of human behavior that seem to be invariant over long periods of time and in very different cultures. For example, philosopher Daniel Dennett has proposed that humans are genetically predisposed to have a Theory of mind because there has been evolutionary selection for the human ability to adopt the Intentional stanceref|stance. The "intentional stance" is a useful behavioral strategy by which humans assume that others have minds like their own. This assumption allows you to predict the behavior of others based on personal knowledge of what you would do.

Powerful evidence for genetic predispositions towards certain patterns of human behavior comes from twin studies. The idea that human behavior can have a genetic basis has become controversial due to religious and politically-inspired positions with respect to common human behaviors such as homosexuality.

Genetic discrimination in health insurance

In the United States, individuals are at risk for loss of health insurance if they are discovered to have genetic predispositions for health problems. The [ National Center for Genome Resources] found that 85 percent of those polled think employers should not have access to information about their employees' genetic conditions, risks or predispositionsref|poll. The U.S. federal government has so far taken only limited measures against discrimination based on genetic testingref|laws.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which was [ signed into law by President Bush on May 21, 2008] , prohibits discrimination in employment and health insurance based on genetic information.


# The results of this survey are [ discussed here] (January 20, 1998).
# A [ summary] of U.S.A. executive orders and proposed legislation is compiled by the National Center for Genome Resources.
# "The Intentional Stance" (MIT Press; Reprint edition 1989) (ISBN 0-262-54053-3)

ee also

*Human nature
*E. O. Wilson's book on sociobiology and his book Consilience discuss the idea of genetic predisposition to behaviors
*The field of evolutionary psychology explores the idea that certain behaviors have been selected for during the course of evolution.
*The nature versus nurture debate
*Behavioral genetics
*Predispositioning Theory
*Genetic discrimination

External links

* [ Genetic discrimination fact sheet from the National Human Genome Research Institute] .

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • genetic predisposition — An inherited increase in the risk of developing a disease. Also called genetic susceptibility …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Genetic discrimination — occurs when people are treated differently by their employer or insurance company because they have a gene mutation that causes or increases the risk of an inherited disorder. People who undergo genetic testing may be at risk for genetic… …   Wikipedia

  • Genetic testing — (also called DNA based tests) is among the newest and most sophisticated of techniques[1] used to test for genetic disorders which involves direct examination of the DNA molecule itself. Other genetic tests include biochemical tests for such gene …   Wikipedia

  • Genetic memory — describes a variety of processes in biology and psychology by which genetic material confers a memory of an individual s or species past history. It can refer to the genetic code of DNA, epigenetic changes to the genetic material, the inheritance …   Wikipedia

  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act — The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a law in the United States designed to prohibit the improper use of genetic information in health insurance and employment. It prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying… …   Wikipedia

  • predisposition — [[t]pri͟ːdɪspəzɪ̱ʃ(ə)n[/t]] predispositions 1) N COUNT: usu with supp, oft N to inf, N to/towards n/ ing If you have a predisposition to behave in a particular way, you tend to behave like that because of the kind of person that you are or the… …   English dictionary

  • genetic screening — noun analyzing a group of people to determine genetic susceptibility to a particular disease genetic screening of infants for phenylketonuria • Hypernyms: ↑screening * * * 1. assessment of an individual s genetic makeup to detect inheritable… …   Useful english dictionary

  • genetic screening — 1. assessment of an individual s genetic makeup to detect inheritable defects that may be transmitted to offspring. 2. evaluation of a person s genetic makeup in an attempt to predict genetic predisposition to certain illnesses associated with a… …   Universalium

  • genetic screening — /dʒəˌnɛtɪk ˈskrinɪŋ/ (say juh.netik skreening) noun genetic testing performed on an individual, group, or population, usually in order detect or exclude a genetic disease at an early stage, or to determine genetic predisposition or resistance to… …   Australian English dictionary

  • genetic screening — genet′ic screen′ing n. med gen assessment of an individual s genetic makeup to detect defects that may be transmitted to offspring or to try to predict genetic predisposition to certain illnesses • Etymology: 1970–75 …   From formal English to slang

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