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Chapter 5 : Genetics

What is Genetics arrow_upward

  • Genetics is the study of inheritance in living organisms.
  • The same molecular processes that provide a mechanism for organisms to pass
  • Genetic information to their offspring leads to the gradual change of species over time, providing for biodiversity and evolution of new species.

  • DNA arrow_upward

  • DNA is the material that carries all the information about how a living thing will look and function.
  • For instance, DNA in humans determines such things as what color the eyes are and how the lungs work.
  • Each piece of information is carried on a different section of the DNA. These sections are called genes.
  • DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is in every cell of every living thing.
  • DNA is found in structures of the cell called chromosomes.
  • Both DNA and chromosomes are tiny.
  • Scientists need to use very powerful microscopes to see them.

  • Genetic Inheritance arrow_upward

  • Genetic Inheritance is the passing of traits to offspring from its parents or ancestor.
  • This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism.
  • It is the act of inheriting property
  • The reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
  • The acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations

  • The Genetic code arrow_upward

  • Each gene has its own specific location on the chromosome or on the mitochondrial DNA.
  • The gene performs a single important function.
  • These serve as blueprints for a physical, physiological or mental trait.
  • The genes tell how a person looks like hair, eye, skin color, shape of the body and features, height etc.
  • The DNA code is made up of very long chains of four basic building blocks (nucleotide bases):
    • Adenine (A)
    • Guanine (G)
    • Thymine (T)
    • Cytosine (C)
  • The chromosome contains two of the DNA chains running in opposite directions; the bases pair up to form the rungs of a ladder twisted into a double helical structure.
  • Adenine (A) can only pair with base Thymine (T), and vice versa; and base Guanine (G) can only pair with base Cytosine (C), and vice versa.

  • DNA Replication arrow_upward

  • DNA replication is a biological process that occurs in all living organisms and copies their DNA; it is the basis for biological inheritance.
  • The process starts when one double-stranded DNA molecule produces two identical copies of the molecule.
  • The cell cycle (mitosis) also pertains to the DNA replication/reproduction process.
  • The cell cycle includes:
    • Interphase
    • Prophase
    • Metaphase
    • Anaphase, and
    • Telophase

    Genetic Change arrow_upward

  • The genetic code undergoes several changes during the process of evolution.
  • However, despite such changes, there is preservation of the majority of characteristics of the species.

  • Genetics Research and Technology arrow_upward

  • Several discoveries have made genetic research one of the fastest developing research areas in the world today.
  • With the understanding of genetic basis of disease there is a rapid development of genetic basis for disease risk and diagnosis and treatment.
  • Genetic engineering has also made progress over the last few decades.
  • Organisms used in genetic research: Certain organisms formed the origins of genetic research experiments. Gregor Mendel for example discovered theories of inheritance from sweet pea plants.

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