Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a disease in which the blood clots, or, coagulates very slowly. Queen Victoria is the first victim of this genetic defect. Strangely, only Victoria's male descendants became "bleeders”. All of her daughters and granddaughters were apparently healthy. Yet many later gave birth to hemophiliac sons. The genes - including the defective ones - are strung like beads on objects known as chromosomes. These are found within every human cell. Each normal human cell carries 46 chromosomes - two sets of 23.One set of 23 chromosomes originally comes from the mother's ovum-the egg cell. Whenever a dominant gene and recessive gene are paired, the individual always develops the characteristic of the dominant gene. The gene that causes the hemophilia is recessive. If it is paired with a "healthy" gene; the individual does not develop the symptoms of hemophilia. But even so, the gene is still present. It can be passed along to the next generation.
Today, medical scientists not only know the genetic basic of the disease, but how to control it as well. Hemophilia is caused by the lack of protein in the blood. This protein is called AHF anti homophile factor. One important method of treating hemophiliacs is to concentrate AHF extracted from the plasma of donated blood. When the AHF is injected in to hemophiliac, his blood begins to clot normally.

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