Unlocking Your Genetic History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Discovering Your Family's Medical and Genetic Heritage by Thomas H. Shawker M.D.
If Gilda Radner, one of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, had known of her family's medical pedigree and her ethnic heritage, she possibly could have prevented her death from ovarian cancer, the silent killer that tragically took her life at the age of 42. Cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and heart disease all have a hereditary component. Unlocking Your Genetic History explains how to integrate a family health history into your genealogy, how to get the appropriate medical information and analyze it, and how to design a medical pedigree in order to detect the genetic influence on your family's health. Early awareness, identification, and treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
The second part of the book discusses the exciting new field of using genetic testing to link you to your ancestors and verify your genealogy. Genetic testing was used to show that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings and has direct male descendents living today. It has shown that Jews retained their genetic identity despite the Jewish Diasporsa. DNA testing can help identify Native American ancestry, determine who settled Polynesia, and track the march of Genghis Khan as he swept out of Mongolia.Today DNA testing is being used in court and to identify human remains.
Unlocking Your Genetic History will help readers understand their family's medical and genetic history and help them understand the genetic revolution.
Thomas H. Shawker, M.D., is chief of the ultrasound section in the Imaging Sciences Program at the National Institutes of Health, a professor of radiology at the United Services University, and a fellow of the American College of Radiology. He is chairman of the National Genealogical Society's Family Health and Heredity Committee and president of the Prince George's County Genealogical Society. He is the author or coauthor of over two hundred scientific publications and a speaker on both medical and genealogical topics. He and his wife live in Maryland.