Genetics BASICS

The many complex sounding words and phrases used in genetics can be quite baffling. This section will help it all begin to make sense.

films about genetic disorders

What is it like to have broken more than 30 bones in your body by the age of ten? How does it feel to have walked as a young child and now be confined to a wheelchair?

Watch our 4 minute films to see extraordinary children tell their stories about living with genetic disorders

patterns of inheritance

Genetic disorders can either be inherited from both parents or from a single parent. The links below will show you how different disorders are inherited through the generations.


Genetics is a fascinating but often complicated subject.  We hope our A-Z of the most common terms will help to make it clearer. If the term you are looking for is not listed here then please contact us.

What happens in the genetic lab?

When having a genetic test it can be difficult to imagine what happens to your sample, what the scientists do with it to get your result and why it can take a long time. This section should help make this a bit clearer.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing usually involves having a sample of your blood or tissue taken. The sample will contain cells that contain your DNA and can be tested to find out whether you are carrying a particular mutation and are at risk of developing a particular genetic condition. .

Genetic Disorder Charities and Support Groups

These charities and support groups provide information and support to patients with specific genetic disorders.


If you have a question about genetics, genetic services or testing, you might find the answer in our list of frequently asked questions.