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Whats Are Genes & DNA?

Genes, located in the nucleus of cell, are stretches of DNA that contains
instructions for making functional molecules including RNA and proteins. The
molecules that genes make control all chemical reactions essential to life. Genes
are the functional units that parents pass to their offspring. They carry DNA, a
double stranded molecule composed of nucleotide bases arranged in a specific
order. The DNA sequence codes the instruction in a gene. DNA molecules are
packed into a special structure called chromatin. During cell development
chromatins are condensed into structures called chromosomes. Each human
contains 23 pairs of chromosomes from each parent for a total of 46
chromosomes.
Dominant & Recessive Genes
Most genes have two or more variations called alleles. One can inherit two
identical alleles or two different alleles from his/her parents. The alleles interact
and are presented in a dominant or recessive manner. In some cases the version of
a gene that you receive from one parent blocks the expression of the genes
received from the other parent.
Dominant Genes
Dominant traits only require one copy of a gene in order for the trait to be
expressed.
Brown eyes are an example of a dominant trait
BB

Bb

bb

Recessive Trait
Recessive traits on the other and require two copies of gene to be expressed.

Green eyes are an example of a recessive trait


gg

Gg

Traits due to dominant alleles are always observed even when a recessive
allele is presented. While traits due to recessive alleles are only observed when two
recessive alleles are presented. Traits that are inherited as dominant or recessive are
called simple traits. Other traits such as blood sugar, or heart disease are influenced
by many genes are called complex traits

Trait

Dominant or Recessive

Blood Type A

Dominant

Blood Type B

Dominant

Blood Type O

Recessive

Dimples

Dominant

No Dimples

Recessive

Black Hair

Dominant

Blon or Red Hair

Recessive

Curly Hair

Dominant

Straight hair

Recessive

Normal Vision

Dominant

Near Sighted

Recessive

Freckles

Dominant

Colorblindedness

Recessive

Widows Peak

Dominant

Bent Little Finger

Dominant

Extra Digits

Dominant

Genotype & Phenotype


Ones genotype is the set of genes that he/she carries, while a persons phenotype is
the characteristics he/ she displays.
Genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual in reference to the information
contained on two alleles in the cell.
Your phenotype is the detectable expression of the genotype and observable traits.
Using hair color as an example
Mom

Dad

Offspring

Recessive Brown Hair

Dominant Black Hair

Displays Black Hair, Trait for Brown Hair

rr

BB

Br

Environmental Influences
Our genes and DNA has much to do with who we are, however, our genes
alone are not the only factor that contributes to who we are. Around 40% of a
persons personality stems from influenced traits according to David Funder. An
environmental influence are things that can affect the characteristics of an
organism's. Environmental influences refers to where a persons live, culture, and
early life experiences and exposure can impact personality.

According to psychologist, known as empiricist, the basic assumption i that


at birth the human mind is a Tabula rasa or a blank slate and is gradually filled as
a result of experience. These psychologist that it is how you are brought up that
governs the psychologically significant aspects of a child development. For
example, when an infant forms an attachment to his mother he is responding to the
love and attention it receives. Also, infants learn and mimic languages and words

that they hear in their environment. The things that young ones mimic are in
response to their environment and what someone around them has said, done, or
acted. Studies have shown that how sky a child is is influenced by aspects in his
environment such as parental conflict, stress, and chronic illness. Shy parents
typically raised shyer children because the child witnesses fewer interaction than a
child without going parents. This is the idea of behaviorism which states that all
behavior is learned from the environment through conditioning.
Genetic Diseases
Our genetic makeup are responsible for our physical traits and our personality
traits, but genetic are also responsible for diseases
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease. Sickle cell
disease is a disorder in which ones body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells,
compared to the normal disc-shaped. Sickle cells are stiff and sticky in movement.
They block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs which can
cause pain and organ damage.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a type of anemia or condition which blood has a lower than
normal number of red blood cells. Red blood cells are produced in the marrow of
the large bones in our bodies. Bone marrow is constantly making new red blood
cells to replace the old ones. Normal red blood cells live in the blood stream for
120 days before they die. They carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from your
body. In sickle cell anemia; however, the sickle cells usually die after about 10 to
20 days. The bone marrow cant make new blood cells fast enough to replace the
dying ones.
Sickle cells is a genetic mutation of chromosome #11 which codes hemoglobin.
Sickle cell is an inherited disease. People who posses the disease inherit the gene
from both parents being that the disease is recessive. A person who inherits the
gene from one parent has the trait for sickle cell anemia, but doesnt not inherit the
disease.

ss
Sickle Cell

Ss
No Sickle Cell

Alcoholism
Alcoholism is considered a genetic disease but also has much to do with
environment. Parents who are alcoholics are four times more likely to raise
alcoholic children. Research shows that genes are responsible for about half the
risk of alcoholism. For example, people of asian descent carry a gene variant that
alters their rate of alcohol metabolism which causes them to have symptoms like
flushing,nausea, and rapid heartbeat when they drink, thus people with these genes
typically avoid alcohol.
In order to learn more about the genetics underlying alcoholism the team of UT
Austin scientist used bioinformatic technology of RNA sequencing. After obtaining
tissue from alcoholics and nonalcoholics they compared the patterns of genetic
codes from each. The researchers discovered a particular set of genes were
expressed together in the brain tissue of those who consumed the most alcohol.
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, or Manic-Depressive illness is a brain disorder that causes
unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and usually hinders a person's
ability to carry out day to day task. Scientist are studying the possible causes of
the illness. Studies have found that their is no single cause of the disorder, rather
many factors such as a mutation o n the GRM3 gene act together to produce
Bipolar disorder.
The disorder tends to run in families, research has suggested that certain genes
influence the illness, so people who carry these genes are at a higher risk for
developing the disease than others. Children with a parent or sibling who is bipolar
are more likely to develop the illness when compared to children who do not have
a family history of bipolar disorder.

Why I Am Who I Am
After a conducting a survey where participants answered the question What traits
do you believe define Victoria?, I found that majority of those questioned
believed that I was responsible, independent, a leader, determined, and generous.
What Led Me To Develop These Traits
Responsible
I believe my home environment influenced this trait. I come from a relatively large
family with working parents. There is always a lot to be done at home and in order
to ensure that task are completed I have to take responsibility. For example, at
home am responsible for making sure my room is clean , and that the dishes are
washed. If I don't do these task then they won't get done. My parnet indorciatnated
this trait in me since I was young; constantly giving me task I was held accountable
for.
Independent
I believe my home environment influenced my independence. Being that my
family is so large i often don't receive individualized attention causing the need for
me to do things on my own. For example, my parents leave so early for work that
they cannot be there to wake me up for school, so this made is necessary for me to
do things such as set alarms so that i can wake myself up for school. My school

environment also influenced my independence. I only have one class taught by a


teacher while the rest are independent studies. I have no one to hold my hand
through the process therefore i have to be independent and come up with strategies
and methods to teach myself these subjects.

Leadership
I believe my father influenced my leadership abilities. Often times I witnessed him
act as a leader. For example, at his restaurant he gives orders and command to the
chef, or the waitresses. I also have been on teams that taught me leadership such as
STEP. As the elected captain of the team it was imperative for me to build
leadership skills. Also teaching a class also required me to display leadership skills.
Determined
I believe the people around me influenced my determination. I believe this
because i am motivated by others. When someone tells me that i cannot do
something i am motivated. One experience that i believe influenced my
determination occurred in 7th grade when a teacher told me i wasn't going to be
successful. Ever since i've been working hard to prove him wrong. Failure of
others around me also encourages me and strikes my determination.
Generous
My home environment influence the trait of generosity. I grew up with many
siblings which put me in circumstances in which sharing was necessary. At home i
have to share with my siblings which indoctrinated the trait of generosity. Also life
experiences influenced my ability to be generous. In earlier times in my life Ive
been bullied. This experience was horrible for me and i feel that no one else should
be treated in a demining; therefore I treated others with respect. These things
influenced my generosity.