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Genetics and Heredity

  • By: Rachel Belk
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

This article provides an overview of the genetic contribution to etiology (causes) of deafness. An article so positivist and biological in its content may jar with much of this encyclopedia. Most of the articles show deafness as the visual way of experiencing the world, understood independently rather than contrasted and narrowly defined as an absence of hearing. Nevertheless, the causes of deafness can impact on the social meaning: people may wish to understand what causes deafness and how this affects the incidence and patterns of deafness within the community. This section uses terminology which is necessarily rather medical and scientific.

Background to Genetics and Inheritance

Bodies are made up of thousands of cells. Almost all cells contain a complete set of genetic material (genome) comprising the set ...

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