Genetics, Inheritance & Testing

For Patients & Parents

Genetics is the study of genes and how they pass information from parents to children. Genes are the set of instructions that tells cells how to do their jobs in the body and make you different from everyone else.

Inheritance is the way genes are passed from parents to children. The genes your parents pass down to you determine many things about you. For example, your genes determine your height and skin color or a talent for sports or music. Some information passed down on genes can affect your health. For example, you might inherit a greater chance of getting certain diseases like cancer. Children with adrenocortical tumors (ACT) often have a mutation (change) in a gene called TP53.

The combination of genes from each parent is what makes you a unique combination of your 2 parents. Genes inherited from your parents are present in all of your cells.