Genetics Essay

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The Role of Genetics on Development During conception two people’s genes combine to create something unique. The beginning of a human with the each participating person’s genetic fingerprints intertwined. The combining of genes isn’t always perfect though. Genetic abnormalities can cause offspring to be born with developmental and intellectual problems such as Down syndrome. Advanced genetic studies have enabled more understanding and control of these concerns. The genetic code for humans is found in strands of DNA that are contained in chromosomes. Genes, located on segments of DNA, contain the specific hereditary information that is transferred from one generation to the next (Mossler, 2011). At the moment the sperm enters the ovum and the child begins to form, characteristics from both the mother’s and father’s sides of the family are merged into one or more individuals. People normally have 46 chromosomes organized into 23 pairs. Each chromosome contains thousands of genes which regulate the development of traits (Mossler, 2011). Genetic influences are necessary in the transmission of physical traits, such as height, hair texture, and eye color. Genetics also seem to play a role in psychological traits such as intelligence, activity level, sociability, shyness, anxiety, empathy, effectiveness as a parent, happiness, even interest in arts and crafts. Genetic factors are also involved in psychological problems such as schizophrenia, depression, and dependence on drugs and alcohol (Rathus, 2011). Chromosomal abnormalities occur as a result of the environment interacting with genetics in a way that is not fully understood (Mossler, 2011). Perhaps the best-known chromosomal abnormality is Down syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized by moderate to severe deficits in physical and cognitive

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