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First-cousin Marriages up risk of passing Genetic Disorders to their offspring

According to World Health Organization (WHO), at least 10 infants in every 1,000 live births suffer from some or the other genetic disorders

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New Delhi, Sep 28, 2016: Consanguineous marriages or marriages between first cousins have a higher risk of passing genetic disorders to their offspring, revealed a study by Igenomix on Wednesday.

According to the reproductive genetic laboratory giant Igenomix, in such cases, if both the parents are carriers of the same mutation (disorder), the chances that the child will be affected from a disorder are as high as 25 per cent. The affected child may not lead a normal healthy life.

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“Babies born to consanguineous couples have a higher risk of passing genetic disorders to their offspring. In a research, 17 per cent of the couples in case of consanguineous marriages have been found with a high risk of transmitting genetic disorders to their child,” Rajni Khajuria of Igenomix said in a statement.

“Consanguineous marriage increases the incidence of many genetic disorders like Retinitis Pigmentosa, Leber Congenital Amaurosis, Stargardt disease and Usher syndrome,” she added.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), at least 10 infants in every 1,000 live births suffer from some or the other genetic disorders. Most of these disorders are fatal and can also cause disability for a lifetime. What is worse is that many remain unaware to these disorders till the time they have an affected child.

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“Genetic disorders pass on from generation to generation. One could be a carrier of a genetic disorder and still lead a healthy life. Doctors say that they often come across people who are Thalassemia minor patients and they only get to know while being treated for some other problem later in their lives,” Khajuria added.

According to Igenomix researchers, they have noticed a peculiar distribution pattern of genetic diseases in families where marriage between close relatives is a common scenario.

“These disorders cannot be cured but can surely be prevented, by running a simple blood test before planning a child. IGENOMIX’s Carrier Genetic Test (CGT), helps to determine if both the parents are carrier,” said Khajuria.

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She added that if both turn out to be a carrier, then the next step for them is PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), which is carried out to select those embryos that are healthy. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393