Problem 18


Imagine you are a genetic counselor, and a couple planning to start a family came to you for information. Charles was married once before, and he and his first wife had a child who has cystic fibrosis. The brother of his current wife Elaine died of cystic fibrosis. Cystic Fiborsis is a lethal recessive condition (a person with CF cannot have children).

What is the probability that Charles and Elaine will have a baby with cystic fibrosis? (Neither Charles nor Elaine has the disease)

The Probability that Elaine is a carrier is 2/3 (She does not have Cystic Fibrosis which eliminates one of the 4 possibilities. She does have 2 chances out of three of being a carrier. [Nn, nN (carriers) or NN]

The probability that the baby (?) has the disease (if Elaine is a carrier) is 1/4

The total probability is 2/3 x 1/4 or 1/6.