Gregor Mendel gave the world insight into genetic odds, allowing for the identification of the different ways in which genetic traits could be used to predict the traits of future generations (O’Neil, 2013). Since the 1890s when Mendel first completed his experiments, tools and technology available have become more advanced, allowing for the creation of the genetic odds calculator. Genetic odds calculators allow an individual to enter information based on previous generations, whereby the computer will complete a statistical analysis of those factors in order to determine the most likely results (Grace, Hardisty, Green, Davidson, Stuebe, & Vora, 2015).
Genetic odds calculation may be conducted by researchers, scientists, doctors, and even the average layperson, depending on the type of odds being calculated. A Genetic Heredity Calculator, such as the one located at frieger.com (2016), will allow a person to enter in the information known about two parties and their grandparents in order to determine basic characteristics, like whether or not offspring may have a cleft chin, or blue eyes. If both sets of grandparents and both parties all have blue eyes, there is a 96% chance that the offspring of those two parties will have blue eyes and a 4% chance that the offspring will have green eyes (freiger.com, 2016). While such physical traits may be interesting, there are other, more serious reasons to use a genetic odds calculator, like exploring the likelihood of whether or not a child may have a condition that causes a cleft palate, or a chromosomal defect.
Genetic tests to determine the possibility of chromosomal defects in children are not tests that may be conducted by the average layperson, requiring a doctor and other specialists to obtain the information necessary for the genetic calculator to function (Pollack & Miller, 2014). Clients, however, may find themselves confused as a result of a lack of sufficient depth of understanding due to the complicated nature of the results, a matter that may become more severe in cases where there is a lack of understanding regarding genetic expression. As such, it is our responsibility, when dealing with genetic test results and odds calculations, to work to simplify this information to the degree possible, increasing awareness and understanding so that our clients understand how and why something may have occurred or may occur in the future.