Heredity- Why you look the way you do.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What is Heredity?

The passing oo of physical and mental characteristics from one generation to another.

It helps answer the question " why do you look the way you do?"

Have you ever wondered why you look a little like mom and dad, but not exactly like either one parent?

Heredity is the passing of traits from one generation to another.

What are traits?

Traits are characteristics that can be passed to the next generation.


Examples include your eye color, the color of a dog, or the beak of a bird.

In the 1800's Gregor Mendel, while growing pea plants noticed that some traits like height of a plant may change from one generation to the next.

For example, if he crossed two tall plants together, in the first generation he would get tall plants.

However, in the second generation he may get three tall plants and one short plant.

He classified the first generation trait as the dominant trait. The trait that was masked or covered up became the recessive trait.

The reason you get dominant and recessive traits is that you get one copy of the trait from mom and another copy from your dad.

Most human cells are diploid because they contain two complete sets of chromosomes.

diploid vs haploid

This helps explain why you look similar to your mom and dad, but not exactly like either one..

Since Mendel's time there is been a whole field of Science created that studies heredity, called genetics.

Lately the field of genetics has been busy.

Scientists have mapped the human genome,cloned animals, and found cures for genetic diseases.

Hope this helps with your understanding of heredity.


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