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Genetic predisposition

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A genetic predisposition, also called genetic susceptibility [1] is a genetic affectation which influences the phenotype of an individual organism within a species or population but by definition that phenotype can also be modified by the environmental conditions. In the rest of the population, conditions cannot have that effect. Genetic testing is able to identify individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain health problems.

Behavior

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 stance.[1] 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.

Genetic discrimination in health insurance

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.

See also

References

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

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