It is not uncommon during labs on mutations, to discuss that mutations can cause genetic disease. Students will use the phrase “the gene for breast cancer” or “the gene for hemophilia” when these discussions take place. What many think, is that individuals with breast cancer or other genetic diseases have a gene that others do not. In reality, they have a gene that everyone has, but the gene has a mutation that affects its function. Genes don’t exist to cause disease. This is a recurrent theme for me!

For example, when someone has hemophilia (a blood clotting disorder), there is a More >