Molecular genetics provides the basis for understanding patterns of health and disease in people and is part of the scientific foundation on which acute and critical care nurses should build their practice. The human genome, defined as all the genetic information in the cells of humans, provides the blueprint for protein production and cellular function in the body. Alterations in protein production may result in illness or organ malfunction that has a genetic derivation. One therapeutic strategy that holds promise to manage genetic diseases is gene therapy. Gene therapy, or human gene transfer, occurs when scientists or physicians modify the genetic material in cells for therapeutic purposes. Genetic structure, function, and therapeutics reflect the science of the present and future and have profound practice implications for acute and critical care nurses

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