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Basic Genetics and Genomics: A Primer for Nurses

Author(s): Dale Halsey Lea

Journal: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
ISSN 1091-3734

Volume: 14;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: chromosomes | direct-to-consumer genetic testing | essential nursing competencies in genetics and genomics | family history | genes | genetic screening | genetic testing | genetics | genomics | Mendelian inheritance patterns | pharmacogenetics | pharmacogenomics

The completion of the Human Genome Project is leading to a new type of medicine, called personalized medicine. The goal of personalized medicine is to create a healthcare plan that encompasses not only traditional factors, such as patient preferences and cholesterol levels, but also a person’s genetic and genomic information. This approach should allow providers to prescribe more specific and individualized treatment and to avoid adverse drug and treatment reactions. A basic knowledge of genetic terms and concepts and an understanding of genomics can provide nurses with a foundation that will enable them to provide competent, personalized healthcare. This article will review the basic genetic structures and functions, explain cellular and genetic changes, discuss genetic inheritance, describe chromosomal variations, and share applications of genetics and genomics for nursing practice.
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