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Molecular Basis of Heredity: Part 4. Gene Identification and Tests

Author(s): Raye L. Alford, PhD

Gene Discovery

Gene identification is an important step in understanding the molecular basis of any heritable disorder. Identification of the gene(s) associated with a disorder opens the door for understanding the molecular components and biochemical pathways involved in the disorder, enables experimentation into improved diagnostic testing methodologies, provides targets for drug development, and suggests new avenues for therapeutic research, including gene therapy, stem cell therapy, and enzyme replacement therapy. The laboratory mouse and the fruit fly are vital tools for the study of human disorders and the preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutic approaches.