In Cyprus, there is a rising occurrence of hereditary diseases, the Cyprus Society of Human Genetics (CSHG) said on Friday, ahead of World DNA Day, marked on April 25.
In an announcement, the CSHG said there was an increased incidence of hereditary diseases on the island that plague patients and their families, but that the country is well-developed and active in the field of genetics, which helped tackle some of the ailments.
“Improved quality of life is afforded through prenatal, preimplantation, and postnatal diagnosis, prevention, genetic counselling and the treatment of genetic diseases,” it said.
In addition, the group said, Cyprus is one of the most developed countries in the world in the field of genetic research.
This generates sufficient knowledge of cutting edge issues, which translate into beneficial effects for patients.
The aim of the CSHG, is the promotion and development of human genetics in Cyprus.
DNA, the genetic material that contains the code for the creation and life of a human, the group said, is the chemical genetic substance that is perpetuated in time as it is inherited from generation to generation.
“Understanding the structure of DNA and decoding it has paved the way for diagnosing, preventing, and curing genetic diseases. It is known that most human diseases have a genetic basis,” the CSHG said.
World DNA Day aims at raising awareness among members of the public on the properties and applications of DNA.
“On this day, 64 years ago, the pioneering research work of biologists James Watson and Francis Crick who first described the double strand structure of the DNA molecule was published,” the CSHG said.
This discovery, it said, is considered to be among the most important ones of the 20th century as it was the basis of genetics and helped in understanding heredity.