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February 22, 1947

Current Comment

JAMA. 1947;133(8):547. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880080039013

PREVENTION OF GENETIC DISEASE  Study of the factors and principles of inheritance in relation to disease has developed a relatively new science of great value, the science of medical genetics. In a recent lecture before the New York Academy of Medicine Snyder1 presented an instructive discussion of the application of medical genetics to public health and clinical medicine. The part dealing with prevention is of special interest. Snyder says that the applications of genetics in the field of prevention is of great potential value. "It is becoming more and more feasible," he says, "to prevent in the relatives of persons with genetic conditions the appearance of the abnormality or disease. The procedure is to examine the relatives of an affected patient by means of suitable laboratory tests, in search of the early preclinical... signs of the trait. When these are discovered, preventive measures are instituted." He gives two examples

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