My topic is “hereditary.” I have always been interested in genetics, and this is a large branch of genetics. In this report I also plan to speak about evolution. I would like to learn more about what causes specific traits and what the future might bring.
Body: A person gets his or her traits from their parents. These traits include everything from the person’s sex to their mental abilities or problems. These traits are hereditary because they are passed on through genes. They get these genes from their parents and grandparents. They may inherit innate abilities of their parents, such as an affinity for music.
Another factor in who you are is the environment you live in. The environment you are in may affect how you develop. For instance, if you have a talent for music, but have no way to acquire instruments, then it is doubtful that you will ever discover your talent with music. Physically, you may have great potential as a runner, but, if you do not get enough to eat, then it is doubtful that you will ever live up to your potential.
Traits such as what you look like are inherited from your parents. Your potential is also inherited from your parents. Chromosomes contain the information of a person’s potential height, potential strength against disease, and other physical characteristics.
A human being has 23 pairs of chromosomes in every cell in his or her body (except reproductive cells). If, during a stage of growth, a fetus somehow loses one of these chromosomes, the baby may die, or have a birth defect. Since this error is written on their genes, they may pass it on to their children, who may or may not have anything wrong with them.
The way a person looks, as I have stated, is hereditary. In humans, brown eyes are dominant. Thus, if a person with brown eyes and a recessive blue eye gene were to marry someone with similar genes, it is most likely their children would have brown eyes. A chart is used to show the possibilities:
A diagram like that could be used to find out what the eyes of a couples children would be. The reason “B” is capitalized is because it is a dominant trait, and the reason “b” is not capitalized is because it is a recessive trait.
Thus the possible combinations are BB (25% chance), or pure brown eyes, Bb (50% chance), or a hybrid whose children may have blue eyes, or bb (25% chance), or pure blue eyes. There is a 75% chance that the child will have brown eyes.
The same chart may be used for a number of traits, but in higher animals, such as humans, there are variations. For instance if a person who has light brown eyes has a child with a person who has dark brown eyes, the child’s eyes are likely to be medium brown. The charts are still valid though, because not all traits are compatible.
Recessive genes do not visibly show up when there is a dominant gene present. A hybrid is a person who has both a dominant and recessive gene. Their appearance is that of a person who has no recessive gene, but they carry the recessive gene, and it is possible their children will also.
There are also times when there is a compromise. If two genes are both dominant, the resulting offspring will have a blend of those genes. For example, a black rooster and a white hen mate, and the resulting offspring are gray. The same can be said for people.
Genes are made of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA for short. DNA is shaped like a double helix, and, through combinations of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, a gene is made. DNA determines who you are and what your potential is.
It is a well-known fact that drugs and alcohol can damage the fetus. The drugs may damage chromosomes in the fetus, which may develop into a deformity, mental problems, or even addiction to the drug. It is also possible that a drug damaged the father’s sperm cells, which damaged inversely damaged the fetus.
This information may be used for genetic engineering or cross breeding. If a person where to crossbreed a type of cucumber that has a good resistance to disease, but tastes bad, and a cucumber with no immunity that tastes good, you may get a good tasting disease resistance cucumber. Then again you may get disease prone bad tasting cucumber. It depends on the dominance of the genes involved.
Another aspect of genetics is evolution. Evolution is a series of mutations that result positively. For example, once ducks had no webbing on their feet. Only mutant ducks had webbing at the time. The mutant ducks were better swimmers, so they survived attacks from predators while ducks without webbing did not. Thus only ducks with webbed feet survived, and we have the modern duck. Man has, supposedly, evolved from apes in a similar manner.
Both evolution and inherited traits are interesting sciences, which may be important in the future. It may be possible, someday, to encourage evolution, and perhaps manipulate traits.