We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

In Brazil, one in five babies dies before reaching the age of one because of a genetic disorder.

In this article in Science, Mayana Zatz describes her research on genetic diseases and the ethical aspects of working with patients who suffer from them.

Zatz, who heads the Human Genome Research Centre of the University of São Paulo, specialises in research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disorder that is often fatal.

Recently, Zatz campaigned in favour of allowing research using stem cells from human embryos produced by in vitro fertilisation. On 2 March Brazil's government passed a law approving such research (see Brazil says 'yes' to GM crops and stem cell research).

The law, says Zatz, will renew hope for people with genetic disorders for which there are no treatments. She is also aware that the law will bring new challenges.

Genetic counsellors will have to explain to patients that they will have to wait several years before treatments become available. But Zatz believes they will welcome the news that researchers are working to find solutions to their conditions.

Link to full article in Science