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If just one parent has this and the other does not, their child may be a carrier of the gene but will definitely not develop a condition - it means they could then pass the carrier gene on to their own children.If two recessive genes of the same disorder or disease come together, one from each parent, there is a one in four chance of the child developing that disorder, according to the NHS, and the child will have a 50 per cent chance of being a carrier.The problem would arise when the next generation of children would have children with their first cousins. In states like Texas and Oklahoma, it is a criminal offense to marry cousins.Children from those unions would have a lot of genetic material in common, increasing the chance of birth defects. It is legal to marry first cousins in states like California and New York.And a study carried out in Bradford where there are a high level of Pakistanis living, showed that birth defects are increased when two family members procreate.Marriage between first cousins more than doubles the chance of having a child with potentially life-threatening defects, it showed.
A child of first cousins is more likely to have birth defects than two people who meet at random, because first cousins share 12.5 per cent of their DNA, according to a 2002 study in the journal of genetic counselling.
This drops the further away the relation is to the person.
Sharing a number of genes is not good for preventing genetic diseases.
Shrinking family sizes would have left fewer people to be related to.
Family sizes were much larger increasing the chances of being related to someone else.
This means the condition can only be passed on to a child if both parents have a copy of the faulty gene – both are "carriers" of the condition.