Animation films about genes

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Childrens Charity

Explaining the complicated world of genetic inheritance

Cartoon of monkey and boy puzzling over genetic sequence

It is thought that there are currently more than 6,000 diagnosed genetic disorders. New conditions are being identified every day. It is estimated that 1 in 25 children is affected by a genetic disorder. This means that in the UK, 30,000 babies and children are newly diagnosed each year. More than half a million children and adults are living with a genetic disorder in the UK.

Being told that your child has a genetic disorder that could significantly impact on the quality and length of their life is very distressing for any parent. Not understanding how your child came to have the disorder or what it means for your other children, or other members of your family, adds to the stress and anguish.

The inheritance patterns of genetic disorders are complicated for non-scientific people to understand. There are many resources available, but unfortunately most are too complicated for non-healthcare professionals. Medical professionals can also find it difficult to explain genetic inheritance to immediate and extended family members, who are shocked, scared and confused, and may be faced with genetic testing.

This is why Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity is working in partnership with Genetic Disorders UK to produce four short animation films about genetics.

We both firmly believe that helping families to better understand how genetic disorders are inherited will help develop the emotional resilience that they will need for the path ahead.

The films will explain what chromosomes and genes are, how different genetic disorders are inherited and what this means for members of families affected by a genetic disorder.

This project has the potential to help any individual or family in the world with internet access and looking to understand how a genetic disorder is passed from generation to generation within a family. These first animations will be with a voiceover in English. Genetic Disorders UK hope to develop the films further into different language translations.