What about our own heritable traits?

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What about our own heritable traits?

genetic inheritance.png

Genetic drift, human migrations, and evolutionary mutations have all produced change within a given population. Most of the time, those changes are fine, producing healthy offspring with a nice admixture of genetic material. Occasionally though, something goes awry, as you discovered during our look at mitosis and meiosis. The expression of anomalous traits can often be tracked through families, some going back many generations, while others occur as singularities. Genetic malformations often create a multitude of related health problems, some resulting in impairment or early death. For families affected by such conditions, medical breakthroughs sometimes offer hope.

Inheritance determines a diversity of traits, some which are visible and some which are not. When we look at the fossil evidence for evolution we are seeing the results of inheritance. Understanding how heredity and traits are passed along means making sense out of a lot of cellular biology, and we aren’t all science majors…so, in order to simplify this content, view these two slideshows (they’re each about 10 slides):

What is Heredity?
(http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/inheritance/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

What is a Trait?
(http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/traits/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

Some of the traits we inherit from our parents are called phenotypic traits and are observable. The traits we can’t see are called genotypic traits. You can see examples of both types at the following websites:

Phenotypic Traits
(http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/observable/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

Genotypic Traits
(http://www.uni.edu/walsh/genetics.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

Study the samples of eight common Mendelian traits and then determine which of those recessive or dominant traits you express. Compare your results with the rest of your family and post your observations about this experiment.


  1. Create a list demonstrating which of the traits you do have / don’t have. (15 points)
  2. Summarize your findings in a paragraph or two and post with your list. (5 points)
  3. Your post should be a minimum of 100+ words – please cite any resources used. (5 points)

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