Genes, which are segments of DNA acids, are found within the nuclei of cells in living organisms. Genes add specific proteins to chromosomes, which contain the basic genetic code for life. They contain the information needed to build the cells of a living organism and pass traits to offspring. Genes correspond to certain traits, such as number of limbs, blood type, eye color and risk for certain diseases.Know More
Most human cells contain 46 chromosomes, although sperm and eggs contain only 23 chromosomes. The fetus resulting from the union of a sperm and egg inherits half its chromosomes from each parent. Two chromosomes dictate the gender of an individual; girls inherit two X chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father. Boys inherit an X chromosome from their mothers and a Y chromosome from their fathers. The total number of genes in a living organism or cell is called its genome.
Gregor Mendel, a 19th century Austrian monk who is considered to be the father of genetics, first described the process of genetic trait inheritance. He studied pea plants to determine how they inherited traits and discovered that parents pass on traits to offspring in particular patterns. The word "gene" comes from a Greek word that means "birth."Learn more in Molecular Biology & DNA
An organism's genotype is the entire set of genes that it carries in its genome, and its phenotype is the observable effect of those genes on the body and behavior of the organism. Biologists draw a distinction between genotypes and phenotypes to clarify the difference between an organism's genetic heritage and the effects that its combination of genes has.Full Answer >
Genetic manipulation, also called genetic engineering, refers to the alteration of the genes of an organism. It involves manually adding new DNA to an organism to add new traits. Examples of genetically engineered organisms include plants that are resistant to certain insects, plants that tolerate herbicides and crops with altered oil content.Full Answer >
Gregor Mendel was a pioneer in genetics; he discovered the laws of inheritance, which showed genes come in pairs and are inherited from each parent. He worked with over 10,000 pea plants over eight years, noting dominant and recessive traits.Full Answer >
Genetic variation generally refers to the differences in genes between individual members of a population, or the frequency in which the various gene types are expressed. Genetic variation is incredibly important for the survival and adaptation of a species, as it helps in terms of natural selection and evolution.Full Answer >