Do you think these sisters look alike?
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Courtesy of Corel
You Inherited Your Parents’ Genes!
Aunt Maggie says you have your father's eyes.
Grandma says you have your mother's smile.
Could you actually have the traits from these other people? If you are genetically
related to them then yes, you could. Half of
are from your mother and half are from your father. But you might look more
like one of them than the other. Why is that?
Within each of the trillions of cells
in your body are chromosomes.
Chromosomes come in pairs. You got one chromosome of each pair from your mother
and one from your father. Along each chromosome are genes, one for each trait.
This means that you have two copies of each gene, one from your mother and one
from your father. Both genes of a pair deal with the same trait, but they might
differ in their information about it. For instance, one gene for eye color might
say blue while the other one says brown.
One of those genes wins out and its instructions are carried out. It's
called the dominant gene. The other one is still present but its instructions
are not carried out. It's called a recessive gene. As a custom, people
designate dominant genes with uppercase letters and lowercase genes with lowercase
letters. For example gene "A" is dominant and gene "a"
The genes of an individual are called its genotype. They determine
what it will look like, which is called its phenotype!
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The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
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