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The genie of genes
Genes are fascinating! They basically define the traits you inherit from your parents. They provide the information that makes you, well you. These traits include physical features to behavioural patterns you get from Mumma and Daddy dearest. Now you don’t have to wonder how you got your Dad’s eyes or your Mom’s nose. You can thank genetics for that!
- Genes play a vital role in your growth and each gene has a special job to do. The Science Lab brings you ten interesting facts about genes!
- Genes are found in string-like structures called chromosomes. Chromosomes are found in every human cell in pairs, 23 pairs to be precise. One chromosome comes from your Mom while the other one is from your Dad. That’s what we call a true partnership!
- There is a method to how genes work. There are dominant genes which are strong and usually overpower the recessive (weaker) gene. A recessive gene won’t show up in your parents but could show up in you.
- So, consider this – how your eye colour is determined. Two dominant genes of brown eyes – one from Dad and one from Mom will give you brown eyes. One dominant gene of brown eyes and one recessive gene of green eyes will also result in brown eyes. However, if you inherited both recessive genes of green eyes, then guess what? You’ll have green eyes!
- Genetics just isn’t about inheriting traits from your parents. Traits can be passed down to you from them that don’t show in either of them. It’s all because of the recessive genes we were just talking about. So if a person is tall but their parents aren’t, she may have got her height from another family member, say a grandparent or an aunt.
- Recessive genes can be hidden for generations. So just because everyone in your family wears glasses, there’s always a chance that you may not need them. All thanks to a great, great grand uncle whom you never met!
- When you hit puberty could also have something to do with your genes. Let’s say your Mom had her period when she was 12 so as a girl it is likely you could get your period around the same time. Likewise, as a guy, your voice may crack at the same age as your Dad’s did. Of course, this isn’t set in stone and isn’t true for all.
- As hormones surge through your body during puberty causing physical changes they also interact with your genes. This means a lot of the changes that you’re going through like your height, the size of your breasts, body hair growth and so on, are partially influenced by your genes.
- Behaviours such as mood swings, being an extrovert or preferring to stay quiet can also be attributed to genes. However, your surroundings and situation also play a key role in shaping up the person you grow to be. Happy and healthy relationships with your friends and family can make such a difference.
- Some scientists believe that children may also inherit certain talents from their families. Like how a musician’s child may become a musician as well. But then again, this isn’t true for all. Just because your Mom is good at maths, it doesn’t mean you have a liking for the same. On the other hand, your parents could have two left feet but as you grow and develop skills, you may be the next Prabhu Deva!
- There are times when the wrong mix of genes may cause health complications. While many of them are found at birth, some may come to light, if any, as one grows older. Regular medical check-ups are always a good idea to keep check on your health, no matter your age.
- There is no denying genes play an important part in your growth. However, your lifestyle and environment are key players as well. Toxins, poor nutrition, and no physical activity are harmful. Solely relying on good genes isn’t a wise idea. Eating right, getting rest, and exercising is just some of the ways to ensure you have good health.
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