Genetics (from Ancient Greek γενετικός genetikos, "genitive" and that from γένεσις genesis, "origin"),[1][2][3] a discipline of biology

, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.[4][5] Genetics deals with the molecular structure and function of genes, with gene behavior in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), with patterns of inheritance from parent to offspring, and with gene distribution, variation and change in populations. Given that genes are universal to living organisms, genetics can be applied to the study of all living systems, from viruses and bacteria, through plants (especially crops) and domestic animals, to humans (as in medical genetics). The fact that living things inherit traits from their parents has been used since prehistoric times to improve crop plants and animals through selective breeding. However, the modern science of genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance, only began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-19th century.[6] Although he did not know the physical basis for heredity, Mendel observed that organisms inherit traits via discrete units of inheritance, which are now called genes. Genes correspond to regions within DNA, a molecule composed of a chain of four different types of nucleotides— the sequence of these nucleotides is the genetic information organisms inherit. DNA naturally occurs in a double stranded form, with nucleotides on each strand complementary to each other. Each strand can act as a template for creating a new partner strand. This is the physical method for making copies of genes that can be inherited. The sequence of nucleotides in a gene is translated by cells to produce a chain of amino acids, creating proteins—the order of amino acids in a protein corresponds to the order of nucleotides in the gene. This relationship between nucleotide sequence and amino acid sequence is known as the genetic code. The amino acids in a protein determine how it folds into a three-dimensional shape; this structure is, in turn, responsible for the protein's function. Proteins carry out almost all the functions needed for cells to live. A change to the DNA in a gene can change a protein's amino acids, changing its shape and function: this can have a dramatic effect in the cell and on the organism as a whole. Although genetics plays a large role in the appearance and behavior of organisms, it is the combination of genetics with what an organism experiences that determines the ultimate outcome. For example, while genes play a role in determining an organism's size, the nutrition and health it experiences after inception also have a large effect.

Dominant: A genetic trait is considered dominant if it is expressed in a person who has only one copy of that gene. (In genetic terms, a dominant trait is one that is phenotypically expressed in heterozygotes). A dominant trait is opposed to a recessive trait which is expressed only when two copies of the gene are present. (In genetic terms, a recessive trait is one that is phenotypically expressed only in homozygotes). Examples of dominant disorders include:      Achondroplasia (a common form of dwarfism with short arms and legs), Familial hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol leading to premature coronary artery disease), Huntington disease (a form of progressive dementia from which the folk singer Woody Guthrie suffered), Neurofibromatosis (NF1)(a neurologic disorder with an increased risk of malignant tumors), and Polycystic kidney disease (of adult onset).

Most dominant trait are due to genes located on the autosomes (the non-sex chromosomes). An autosomal dominant trait typically affects males and females with equal likelihood and with similar severity. The gene responsible for it can be transmitted from generation to generation and each child born to someone with the gene has a 50:50 chance of receiving the gene and manifesting the disease.

but much more complex traits. because some are the result of inactive. Many children grown up to look very like their mother or father. such as general body form and appearance. someone with the genetic make-up to express an obese phenotype would not do so if malnourished. The child receiving a set of two abnormal genes. The phenotype may change throughout the life of an individual because of environmental changes and the changes associated with aging. Nuture is also able to modify the phenotype — for example. Different environments can influence the development of inherited traits (e. . not all inherited possibilities in the genotype are expressed in the phenotype. or inhibited genes. each of whom has one normal gene which is dominant and one abnormal gene which is recessive.. In this situation one gene has dominance over the other gene. Recessive genes can of course be passed on to progeny. Furthermore. that result from the interaction of its genotype (total genetic makeup) with the environment. which is said to be recessive. will express these and show the abnormal phenotype. colour. size is affected by available food supply) and can alter expression by similar genotypes (e.g. size. and may be expressed in the next generation if dominance is not present. one from each parent. and behaviour. See also variation. Eye colour and hair colour are simple traits. Pheno derives from the Greek for display: the phenotype is the manifestation of the genetic make-up of the individual. ‘Old Blue Eyes’ was the name given by many to Frank Sinatra.All the observable characteristics of an organism. recessive. Having blue eyes is a trait that was part of his phenotype and is genetically determined.g. and an individual may receive eye colour genes specifying different colours from their mother and father. twins brought up in dissimilar families may mature differently). or pancreas. result from the complex interplay of many genes derived from both parents. Some diseases that have a genetic basis give rise to unusual phenotypes. while most resemble neither very closely because of the considerable mix of the genetic material.. gall bladder. Of course a person's parents do not necessarily both have the same coloured eyes. such as the lungs. This abnormal phenotype is usually not expressed by either of the parents. intestine. dependent on the genetic material derived from both parents. For example. such as shape. children born with cystic fibrosis have inherited an abnormal gene from both parents that results in inappropriate secretions in many hollow organs.

In some sources. If the alleles are different. Punnett. its genotype is homozygous. More simply test crosses determine the genotype of an individual with a dominant phenotype.In genetics. The Punnett square is a summary of every possible combination of one maternal allele with one paternal allele for each gene being studied in the cross. if the offspring display both dominant and recessive phenotypes. they are homozygotes. . If the individual being tested produces any recessive offspring (except in cases of incomplete penetrance) its genotype is heterozygous. These chromosomes are referred to as homologous chromosomes. first introduced by Gregor Mendel. such as different pigmentation. the "test cross" is defined as being a type of backcross between the recessive homozygote and F1 generation or F2 generation crossed with recessive parent is said to be a test cross. they are diploid. and is used by biologists to determine the probability of an offspring's having a particular genotype. the individual in question is homozygous dominant. However. who devised the approach. If both alleles are the same. If all offspring display the dominant phenotype. is used to determine if an individual exhibiting a dominant trait is homozygous or heterozygous for that trait.[1][2] Sometimes. The Punnett square is a diagram that is used to predict an outcome of a particular cross or breeding experiment. that is. a test cross. If all the offspring are phenotypically dominant. Most multicellular organisms have two sets of chromosomes. they are heterozygotes. then the individual is heterozygous. Diploid organisms have one copy of each gene (and therefore one allele) on each chromosome. different alleles can result in different observable phenotypic traits. many variations at the genetic level result in little or no observable variation. It is named after Reginald C. Test crosses involve breeding the individual in question with another individual that expresses a recessive version of the same trait.[1] An allele (UK /ˈæliːl/ or US /əˈliːl/) is one of two or more forms of a gene or a genetic locus (generally a group of genes).

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