DNA and RNA and Me and You

I recently watched a late night TV show that was mainly concerned with DNA testing. Today individuals can obtain test kits and learn something about their ancestry or more exactly the region(s) of the world where their ancestors came from. I believe that I am part Irish, part English, part Scotts, and part Welch.  It may surprise some individuals but I could not care less if I were 5% Irish or 20% Irish or 90% Irish. The same holds true for the rest of my possible ethnic groups.  That is why I never had a genetic test that would indicate my ethnic origins.

But I am fascinated with genetics and I have studied genetics for over 30 years.  I would like to know what diseases I am at high risk for and what diseases I am at low risk for.  That would interest me very much.  Genetics is only one factor in human health.  An individual who may be at a higher than average genetic risk for Cancer may never develop Cancer if he/she eats healthy foods and avoids a lifestyle that would promote Cancer.  I laugh at Cancer: 1) because it does not run in my genetic family, and 2) because I take 3000 mg of Vitamin C each day that I devoutly believe prevents many forms of cancer,  and 3) I have avoided a Cancer causing lifestyle.

Unfortunately, my studies in nutrition and biochemistry did not prevent me from developing arthritis.  At least, I was fortunate in avoiding arthritis early in life.  Now that I have developed arthritis, I began a very intense study of arthritis because: 1) It is painful, 2) Doctors who are specialists love to do knee replacements, 3) Knee replacements are painful and 4) Knee replacements vary greatly in their success rate and 5) I sedulously avoid any surgery whenever possible. I recently published an article titled : ” Coronavirus (C-19),” because I am surprised that Americans as a group have a deficiency in the natural sciences and I wanted to explain exactly what a virus is in simple terms.

Type the key word: amino acids into the search box and click go and the article will appear. If you read the article on the Coronavirus, you will remember that I explained in simple terms that different amino acids make different proteins in the body.  Also, I explained that DNA and RNA are two nucleic acids that direct biochemical operations in the human body and that all life on earth has at least one form of nucleic acid inside its’ structure.

In simple terms my arthritis pain is caused by my body’s inability to make a substance known as cartilage.  Cartilage is a very specialized compound and acts effectively as a cushion to keep one bone from rubbing against another bone when the bones meet to form a joint.  Bone is living material and contains nerves and very small blood vessels and bone keeps growing and restructuring itself throughout life.  In the human knee cartilage acts as a connective cushion between the bone of the upper leg, known as the femur, and the bone of the lower leg, known as the tibia.  When the cartilage “wears out” or is not replaced, knee pain becomes an issue and a serious one at that. Since knee replacements are painful and not always as successful as needed, it seemed logical to direct the human body to manufacture more cartilage as needed.  Unfortunately medicine has not yet been able to achieve this goal.  Hopefully, someday medicine may identify specific genes on specific chromosomes and direct the needed amount of cartilage production to restore joint problems.  Unfortunately medicine today does not know how to modify the genetic code in the human body to cure diseases and keep people healthy.  A better understanding of the genetic code in humans in the future and the application of instructions to the genetic code will be a great leap forward in medical science.

R. Van Conoley ( Editor’s Note: There are genetic tests available today to inform prospective parents if they carry the genetic code that may result in a genetic defect in their children.  Also, it is known that a couple have a 1 in 30 chance of giving birth to a child with Cystic Fibrosis. If both the mother and father are recessive carriers for CF, the chances become one in four of the newborn having CF. In the world population the chances of parents having a child with Tay-Sachs disease is one in 171. Ashkenazi Jewish people have one chance in 38 of having a child with Tay-Sachs.  Many Ashkenazi Jews have the prospective husband and wife tested as carriers before marriage. This seems like a very wise course of action. )

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