Genetics Essay

Can your genes determine whether you'll be a straight-A student or a great athlete?Heredity plays an important role, but your environment (including things like the foods you eat and the people you interact with) also influences your abilities and interests.Individual sperm and egg cells, however, have just 23 unpaired chromosomes.

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Heredity is the passing of genes from one generation to the next. Heredity helps to make you the person you are today: short or tall, with black hair or blond, with brown eyes or blue.Because you have a pair of each chromosome, you have two copies of every gene (except for some of the genes on the X and Y chromosomes in boys, because boys have only one of each).Some characteristics come from a single gene, whereas others come from gene combinations.A male child receives an X chromosome from his mother and a Y chromosome from his father; females get an X chromosome from each parent.Genes are sections or segments of DNA that are carried on the chromosomes and determine specific human characteristics, such as height or hair color.Since we have two copies of every gene, typically there's still a "normal" working copy of the gene.In these cases, usually nothing out of the ordinary happens since the body can still do the jobs it needs to do.Have people ever said to you, "It's in your genes"?They were probably talking about a physical characteristic, personality trait, or talent that you share with other members of your family.Researchers have identified more than 4,000 diseases that are caused by mutations.But having a genetic mutation that may cause a disease or condition doesn't always mean that a person will actually develop that disease or condition.

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