Kurt Kondrich
Another "risk gene" identified
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By Kurt Kondrich
November 9, 2010

One of the latest advances in genetics is the identification of a "risk gene" associated with Autism that may alter how the brain functions: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/645382.html

"Risk" is defined as "someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard."
(merriam-webster.com/dictionary/risk)

The "risk gene" is identified as CNTNAP2, and according to the article, "About one-third of all people carry the variant of the CNTNAP2 gene that is associated with a heightened risk of autism, as well as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia and other language difficulties." As I read this latest genetic update I noticed that the phrase "risk gene" was mentioned no fewer than 7 times.

Since 90%+ of all children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome using genetic testing are aborted, my question to the researchers and medical community would be, "What will the identification of this "risk gene" be used for, and will this prenatal diagnosis be offered to expectant parents?"

My beautiful 7-year-old daughter Chloe has a unique genetic make-up (many consider a risk) that gives her an extra chromosome, and she is not someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard. Chloe has planted more positive seeds during her 7 years than most do in a lifetime, and this world would be a colder, darker place if she had not been born. The greatest "risk" she and other individuals with Down syndrome are facing is extinction, and there currently is a silent eugenic movement to eliminate these precious children.

When a society obsessed with perfection labels certain unique genetic codes as "risk," it becomes very easy for people to classify children with disabilities as less than desirable. If 90%+ of children diagnosed prenatally with autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia, and other language difficulties were terminated, I wonder what the outcry would be. As expectant parents receive more genetic updates, will they become more inclined to abort and try again when they are told their unborn child contains a "risk gene"? As children with disabilities disappear from our culture, then so will the Light that they bring to so many.

The article mentions the "disconnect" the CNTNAP2 risk gene produces, and I would argue that the only disconnect is the inability of our culture to see the very slippery slope we are rapidly sliding down. I pray people reconnect with the words God spoke concerning our most priceless gift:

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the Womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."

© Kurt Kondrich

 

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