Heredity refers to the passing of characteristics from parents to offspring. Genetics is the study of heredity, genes and variations in organisms. Heredity occurs in plants, animals, bacteria and fungi.Know More
Organisms inherit physical characteristics or traits from their parents or ancestors. This is the reason offspring often resemble their parents. Cells of living organisms contain tiny biochemical structures called genes. The genes are responsible for carrying traits from one generation to the next. Genes get shuffled during reproduction, resulting in offspring with varying characteristics. Some traits are the result of the interaction of several genes. Genes are made up of a chemical called DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, which is strung together in long chains called chromosomes.
Gregor Mendel is considered the father of genetics. He studied the nature of inheritance in pea plants. In his experiments, he discovered that the color of the flowers were either purple or white and not a mixture of the two colors. He observed that pea plants inherit traits through units of inheritance. These units of inheritance were later named genes.
Some diseases, such as sickle-cell anemia, are genetic. A small difference in DNA can result in sickle-cell anemia. The environment also influences the expression of a gene. A person may be genetically predisposed to obesity, but the actual weight of the person depends on diet and lifestyle.Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA
Heredity factors influence what an organism develops into because of genetic influences, whereas the environment plays a role in determining what the organism becomes. One example of this is height, which is partially determined by the person's genes, but is also determined by dietary differences.Full Answer >
The basic unit of heredity is a gene. A gene is a segment of DNA that codes for a specific protein or set of proteins. The DNA is configured into chromosomes, and each parent gives one of each chromosome to offspring.Full Answer >
Genetics is the branch of biology concerned with heredity and variation. Variation is produced by the transmission of genes from parents to offspring. Some traits are dominant while others are recessive and, along with mutations, contribute to the differences seen among offspring.Full Answer >
The NIH Genetics Home Reference Handbook explains that mutations are passed to offspring if these mutations are present in germ line (sperm or egg) cells. Germ line mutations can occur early in the parent's development so that they affect all of the cells in the parent's body, including eventual gametes. These mutations can also occur in gametes alone and therefore only affect offspring.Full Answer >