Why are we like our parents?« Back to Questions List

We all might have inherited some or the other traits of our parents. Traits are nothing but characteristic like skin color or hair color. Some of us may even have inherited illness/diseases that our parents may have suffered, for example specific allergies, cardiac disease or resistance to the diseases. The study related to how these traits are being passed on from generation to generation is called genetics


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The most common words that one would hear with regards to genetics are the chromosomes and DNA. Any offspring that is born must have a growth pattern. Though they do not resemble their parents (or adults of the same species) at first (for example, tadpoles do not look like frogs initially), they do so as they grow up. This growth information is available in genetic material present in the living cells of the parents. These living cells have nuclei that contain chromosomes. The chromosomes are tiny threadlike structures inside each cell that carry the genes. The genes of the parents determine the traits like blood type, eye color etc of the offspring.


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Now each chromosome contains several types of proteins and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Proteins are building blocks of the body and they exist in every cell. DNA carries the hereditary instruction that is very important for the production of protein.


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Genes are called units of heredity and they interact inside the cell. One gene may affect many traits or one trait may be determined by many genes.



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