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Seven months pregnant, an expectant mother was undergoing aroutine ultrasound. While prior tests had been normal, thisone showed that the limbs of the fetus were u...

Question

Seven months pregnant, an expectant mother was undergoing aroutine ultrasound. While prior tests had been normal, thisone showed that the limbs of the fetus were unusually short. The doctor suspected that the baby might have a genetic form ofdwarfism called achondroplasia. He told her that the disorderwas due to an autosomal dominant mutation and occurred with afrequency of about 1 in 25,000 births. The expectant motherhad studied genetics in college and immediately raised severalquestions.

Seven months pregnant, an expectant mother was undergoing a routine ultrasound. While prior tests had been normal, this one showed that the limbs of the fetus were unusually short. The doctor suspected that the baby might have a genetic form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. He told her that the disorder was due to an autosomal dominant mutation and occurred with a frequency of about 1 in 25,000 births. The expectant mother had studied genetics in college and immediately raised several questions. How would you answer them? If this child has achondroplasia, is there an increased chance that their next child would also have this disorder? Why or why not? Could this disorder have been caused by X rays or ultrasounds she had earlier in pregnancy?

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