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(GENES) Guide

Genes

'GENES' GAVE YOU DAD's EYES


Genes
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Have you ever been told you have your dads eyes or your moms smile? It is true! You get your genetic make up from both of your parents, called genes. Genes contain the instructions that make up cells. They are composed of DNA, and carry chromosomes.

Human cells contain two sets of chromosomes, one set inherited from the mother and one from the father. Each set has 23 single chromosomes. Females inherit an X from each parent, while males get an X from the mother and a Y from the father. They are often referred to as the blueprint for each part of your development.

Each person has about 90,000 genes. Different genes are activated in different cells, creating the specific proteins that give a particular cell type its character. These genes all combine to create a unique person who has some characteristics of the biological parents, but who is their own person with their own genetic makeup. As research continues, new biological evidence is found. A gene was once believed to be coding for protein only. It is now believed that genes produce RNA, ribonucleic acid. RNA is similar to DNA except that it can separate and leave the nucleus of a cell. This was discovered while conducting experiments with mammals.

Researchers have been working to uncover how genes are coded for centuries. Today, that process has lead to much controversy. While being able to read genes and change them can be beneficial in the medical world, such as to help eliminate birth defects, many think they should not be allowed to alter genes. They are afraid people will begin custom ordering the genetic makeup of their children including eye color, hair color, and intelligence.

While we know genes contain the coding for us genetically, there is still much unknown about them. This is an area that will continue to be researched, with new information leading us in different paths in the near future.

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