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Genetics: What Is It and How Does It Affect You?
Cross-dressingby Brett Jordan on Flickr


  • The study of genes is called Genetics. 
  • Scientists study genes to figure out how they work and how they are passed down.
  • Genes are the traits that are passed down to us from our parents.
  • A trait is a feature that is passed on to offspring. 
  • An example of a trait is hair color, skin color, eye color, and blood type.
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DNA renderingby ynse on Flickr

  • DNA is what genes are made of.
  • DNA stands for Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid.
  • It is said to look like a spiral ladder.
  • DNA carries information that is used by your body to be able to function.
  • When new cells are formed DNA replication happens. This is when DNA makes a copy of itself.
  • When this happens, the DNA splits into two pieces.
  • The information in a gene is different from one person to another.
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  • Genes are passed down from your parents. Your parents got their genes from their parents.
  • Different forms of genes are called alleles. 
  • Alleles control different traits in a person. These traits come from your parents. 
  • All genes have alleles for the physical traits and behaviors that you inherit.
  • Alleles are dominant and recessive.
  • Dominant traits are traits that are strong.
  • Recessive traits are traits that are weak and are usually hidden.
  • A person carries two alleles from each parent for a single trait.
  • These two alleles together are called a genotype.
  • A phenotype uses a capital letter and a lower case letter to represent a dominant and recessive trait.
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  • Every type of cell has a different function. 
  • Genes tell a cell how to function.
  • The nucleus of the cell controls 99.9% of your genes.
  • Everybody has about 20,000 genes.
  • Our bodies are always creating more cells and DNA.
  • Cells go through a stage in the cell cycled called Mitosis.
  • Mitosis is the process when the cell's nucleus divides into two new nuclei. A new cell is made.
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Karyotypeby Can H. on Flickr

  • Meiosis is the process that a cell goes through in order to produce sex cells with half the number of chromosomes.
  • During the process, the chromosome pairs separate and are divided in two different cells. 
  • The sex cell's then have only half as many chromosomes as the other cells in the organism.
  • Since the DNA has replicated, each chromosome has two rods.
  • A chromosome contains DNA that carries genetic information.
  • Humans normally have 46 chromosomes or two sets of 23. 
  • You get 23 chromosomes from the egg with comes from your mother, and 23 from the sperm which comes from your father.
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