Introduction to genetics
Genetics is probably one of the most exciting lessons in biology.
At the same time, it can be a bit confusing because sometimes it is difficult to imagine what the bare eyes cannot see. We will try to make things very simple and easy for you.
What is genetics?
Genetics is the science of studying how living things pass on characteristics (or traits) and its variations in their cell make-up from one generation to the other.
Simply, it is the study of how living things inherit features like eye-colour, nose shape, height and even behavior from their parents.
A scientist who studies genetics is called a geneticist.
Here is a scenario —
If a mother with big blue eyes has a baby boy, soon his eyes begin to look so much like his mummy’s.
He will probably exhibit similar features of his mum’s eyes.
When this happens, the boy probably has inherited some specific genes from his mummy, and the cells in their eyes share some DNA (we will explain this soon).
This inheritance can come about in both sexual and asexual reproduction.
Genetics is not only important in humans. It also applies to plants and other living cells. A plant may pass on traits like number of fruits it bears, color of its’ flowers or its’ root structure via a seed, that will grow into a very identical plant.
In this lesson, we shall learn a bit more about how that is possible and some very important words that we need in our study of genetics. Let us begin with Genes, Chromosomes and DNA.