heredity

What is heredity?

Heredity is the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, the offspring cells or organisms acquire the genetic information of their parents. Through heredity, variations between individuals can accumulate and cause species to evolve by natural selection. The study of heredity in biology is genetics.

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What are traits?

Identical twins have exactly the same DNA, but they are not exactly alike. Each twin has his or her own personality, talents, likes, and dislikes. There are even diseases that appear in one twin but not the other, including arthritis, diabetes, autism, schizophrenia, cancer, and many others. The differences between identical twins don’t come from DNA—they all come from external factors.

Scientists often study twins to understand how genes and the environment work together to affect traits. They compare traits in identical twins, who have identical DNA, and fraternal twins, who share half their DNA, just like any siblings. If a characteristic appears more frequently in identical twin pairs than in fraternal twin pairs, then it has an inherited component.

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5 heredity examples

dimple (also known as a gelasin)[1] is a small natural indentation in the flesh on a part of the human body, most notably in the cheek or on the chin.

human earlobe (lobulus auriculae) is composed of tough areolar and adipose connective tissues, lacking the firmness and elasticity of the rest of the auricle (the external structure of the ear). In some cases the lower lobe is connected to the side of the face. Since the earlobe does not contain cartilage[1] it has a large blood supply and may help to warm the ears and maintain balance. However, earlobes are not generally considered to have any major biological function.[2] The earlobe contains many nerve endings, and for some people is an erogenous zone.

The zoologist Desmond Morris in his book The Naked Ape (1967) conjectured that the lobes developed as an additional erogenous zone to facilitate the extended sexuality necessary in the evolution of human monogamous pair bonding.

Dark skin is the human skin color—effectively some shade of brown—that is rich in melanin, especially, eumelaninpigments.[1][2][3] People with very dark skin are often referred to as black,[4] although this usage can be ambiguous in some countries where it is also used to specifically refer to different ethnic groups or populations.[5][6][7][8]

The evolution of dark skin is believed to have begun around 1.2 million years ago,[9] in light-skinned early hominid species after they moved from the equatorial rainforest to the sunny savannas. In the heat of the savannas, better cooling mechanisms were required, which were achieved through the loss of body hair and development of more efficient perspiration. The loss of body hair led to the development of dark skin pigmentation, which acted as a mechanism of natural selection against folate depletion, and to a lesser extent, DNA damage. The primary factor contributing to the evolution of dark skin pigmentation was the breakdown of folate in reaction to ultraviolet radiation; the relationship between folate breakdown induced by ultraviolet radiation and reduced fitness as a failure of normal embryogenesis and spermatogenesisled to the selection of dark skin pigmentation. By the time modern Homo sapiens evolved, all humans were dark-skinned.

 

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