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This guide will take you to databases and resources to assist you with your assignment on genetic diseases/disorders.

What is a genetic disease/disorder?

Genes are the building blocks of heredity. They are passed from parent to child. They hold DNA, the instructions for making proteins. Proteins do most of the work in cells. They move molecules from one place to another, build structures, break down toxins, and do many other maintenance jobs.

Sometimes there is a mutation, a change in a gene or genes. The mutation changes the gene's instructions for making a protein, so the protein does not work properly or is missing entirely. This can cause a medical condition called a genetic disorder.

You can inherit a gene mutation from one or both parents. A mutation can also happen during your lifetime.

There are three types of genetic disorders:

  • Single-gene disorders, where a mutation affects one gene.
  • Chromosomal disorders, where chromosomes (or parts of chromosomes) are missing or changed. Chromosomes are the structures that hold our genes.
  • Complex disorders, where there are mutations in two or more genes. Often your lifestyle and environment also play a role. 




Your mission is to create an informational brochure/pamphlet on a genetic disease.  Here are the guidelines for your brochure/pamphlet:

  • Brochure/Pamphlet should be AT LEAST one full page front and back.
  • Brochure/Pamphlet must be typed, color is optional.
  • Your first page should be a cover.
  • Your last part of your brochure/pamphlet must contain your bibliography.  You must include at least 3 sources (one of which is a Library database).
  • You will work individually.

Your brochure/pamphlet should include most of the following information:

  • What is your disease?
  • What causes it? (extra chromosome, deletion of chromosome, inherited from parent, etc.?) (Which gene?)
  • Is the condition a dominant or recessive trait or sex-linked? Which chromosome is affected?
  • Is if inherited, if so how?
  • How is it diagnosed (prenatal test/genetic screening)?
  • What are its symptoms?
  • How is it treated?...therapy?
  • Does it cause the patient to have other diseases/illnesses/ailments/weaknesses? Are there any related disorders?
  • Is it fatal?
  • What support services are out there?
  • Where can I find more information?
  • Who is affected? What segment of the population is affected? Is this disorder more prevalent in a certain race, sex, etc.? Why? Any population statistics here.
  • Pictures of people with the disease (some diseases are visible, other may not be).
  • Artwork of your is also counted.  Pictures, graphs, charts, etc. should be included.
  • Include any other interesting facts that you learned about the disorder.
  • Proper bibliography.

Late brochures/pamphlets will result in a 20% penalty each day it is late!!

See Mrs. Stein for details regarding point value of this project.

HELP!! Where do I start?

Use this LibGuide to guide your research for this project.  I suggest you follow the path of the tabs created for you on this LibGuide.

  1. Be sure you have needed materials for this particular assignment such as the following:  (A) Mrs. Stein's handout, (B) the LibGuide address (, and (C) database passwords.
  2. Be sure you are familiar with terms and definitions as well as the directions associated with this assignment.
  3. Be sure to explore the "Searching Tips" tab if you have difficulty searching or were never taught how to effectively conduct a search.
  4. Use the "Select a Genetic Disease/Disorder" tab to assist in selection.
  5. Use the "Database Resources" tabs for further required research.

HELP at HOME can access all available LibGuides, the Padua Databases, and the Padua Library Catalog at home. Just make sure you have what you need to make that happen, which is the address for Padua's LibGuides:  

Remember...when you enter this address, you are only on the Welcome/Home Page for LibGuides. You then need to look for the particular Guide that you need (look for the list of Guides in the middle of the Welcome/Home Page).  Once you find the Guide you want, select it.  Everything else is listed on the LibGuide for you.