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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.
These are what the chromosomes of a human look like. Chromosome pairs like these are in every human cell. The last pair determines the gender of the person.
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine and NIH

Chromosomes, DNA and Genes: Tiny Things That Have a Huge Effect on Who We Are!

Do you look a bit like your siblings? Do you and your siblings look a bit like your parents? The similarities are because, unless you were adopted, you and the other members of your family have genetic material in common.

Some charactoristics, or traits, result from interactions with the environment, others are determined from the genetic mateiral in your chromosomes. Chromosomes are the keepers of the genetic material in eukaryotic cells. An organism has the same chromosomes for its entire life. The chromosomes are located within each cell nucleus. They provide the directions for how the cell is supposed to function and determine some characteristics about how the individual looks. Each chromosome contains a very complex molecule called DNA. The DNA molecule contains genes, which direct how proteins made of amino acids are produced in the body. The proteins that they help make have important jobs building and maintaining an organisms cells, tissues, and organs.

Heredity is the passage of DNA from the chromosomes of one generation to the chromosomes of the next. Chromosomes in your body are in pairs. One chromosome of each pair came from your mother and one from your father. There are many genes within each chromosome. Different genes determine different traits. For each gene there can be many varieties. For instance, one variety might tell the body that eyes should be blue while another variety tells that eyes should be brown. (The dominant gene determines the actual color of the person's eyes.) Each variety is called an allele. There might be many types of alleles for each type of gene. Each animal of plant has two alleles of each gene. One allele is inherited from its mother and the other is inherited from its father. This means that an organism has two varieties of every gene, but they might not be the same type.

Last modified October 15, 2011 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Traveling Nitrogen is a fun group game appropriate for the classroom. Players follow nitrogen atoms through living and nonliving parts of the nitrogen cycle. For grades 5-9.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA