Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Medical Genetics

  • Harald Rieder
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_669

Related Terms


Medical genetics is a discipline of human medicine which is specialized in the research, diagnosis, and management of congenital disorders. As such, medical genetics is part of human genetics. However, whereas human genetics studies and describes the inheritance in man in general, medical genetics is devoted to inherited human diseases. This implies peculiarities of the genetic information, the DNA, and the genetic text itself, as well as of epigenetic factors, which influence the effect of the genetic information on an individual. In addition, congenital disorders are not limited to inherited genetic peculiarities but may also be caused by exogenous factors such as infectious or toxic agents, which may exert an adverse effect on the child during embryonic or fetal development. Therefore, acquired congenital disorders are also in the focus of medical genetics. The term “genetic medicine”...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Human Genetics and AnthropologyHeinrich-Heine-UniversityDüsseldorfGermany