Genetics is the study of inheritance patterns of specific traits. This normally relates to genes and genetic information and can also be referred to as heredity. There are many theories that try to explain how traits are usually passed down to an offspring from their parents. This is the field that explains variations found in organisms. Geneticist is the name that is given to a scientist who studies genetics.
History of genetics
Genetics as a discipline is relatively new but the concept that makes up the subject (inheritance) goes back in time. The word is derived from the adjective genetic that was found in sciences between the 19th and 20th centuries. An example of the fields it was included in is genetic affinity, genetic psychology and biogenetic law. It was not until 1906 that the noun genetics was publicly proposed as a term that was used to cover labors that were devoted to the phenomena of variation and heredity. This was also refereed to as the physiology of descent that implied the bearings of theoretical problems that evolutionists tried to solve.
The history of variation and heredity notions also reflect the significance of economic and social factors that draw attention that shape and draw attention to them. Gregor Mendel who lived between the years of 1822- 1884 is known as the father of genetics. This is because of his introduction of the Mendelian experiment. This explored the chromosome theory one of the synthesis that explained the geography of heredity that is found in a cell. This however did not give answers to an important question “What’s the identity of genetic material”. It was erased with the Watson Crick Structure DNA that was introduced in 1953 that opened a glimpse into the terrain that was to be later known as molecular genetics.
Today, variation and genetics are considered two sides that are found on the same coin. Therefore variation among sibs normally comes from varied expression and commingling of the hereditary determinants that are derived from both parents. Mutations also known as spontaneous changes in hereditary material also give rise to the variations that can also be inherited. This means that heredity of variation, variation and heredity belong together. The conceptual framework did not exist until in the later stages of the 19th century.
There are some lingered relics that still have the ancient view of heredity which are as a result of the type of reproduction where any deviance from the ascribed type was seen as the results of changed life conditions, mothers’ imagination among many other reasons. Heredity and variation were found within a broader topic that was known as generation. This included regeneration of damaged and lost organs, development of embryo and both asexual and sexual reproduction. Human heredity was given a lot of attention in the 119th century when transmission of hereditary characters started to have a separate conceptual status.
In the 18th century, there were two main rival concepts of the inheritance phenomenon. This was the doctrine of preformation that claimed that off-springs are like their parents because there is a germ that is always present that evolves into the young ones. Experimental support was the second phenomenon that formed the hybridization theory developed by Joseph Kolreuter in 1766. This described how it was possible to transform one species of a plant to another. This was through the fusion of female seeds-ovules and male seeds pollen to come up with a hybrid. Both resources i.e. cell theory and hybridization formed the better part of Gregor Mendel research.
What is a gene?
Genes are the most important things that play a role in determining how a person looks like (personal traits) and other aspects that are associated with human beings. These carry vital information that helps to make a person who they are. For instance, they determine whether a person will have long, short, curly or straight hair, short or long legs, a person’s laugh and smile and other things that are passed on from generation to generation through family ancestor genes.
All the cells in the human body usually contain around 25,000-35,000 genes. These carry the details that are needed to determine people’s traits. The traits are the characteristics that a person inherits from their parents. This means that parents normally pass some of their characteristics to their children through their genes. For example, a child can get green eyes if both parents have green eyes. This is why you find people saying that a child either looks their father or mother when they are born. Genes are not only found in humans as they are also present in plants and animals too.
Genes are found lined up on chromosomes that appear to be threads like. These come in pairs and contain hundreds or thousands of genes. A combination of genes and chromosomes usually makes up DNA. Chromosomes are located in cells (small units that make up living things). The cells are usually very tiny and can only be seen with the help of a microscope. These feature a nucleus that is the brain of the cell because it takes part in all the cell activities. This is enabled by the presence of genes and chromosomes in the nucleus. All living things depend on the genes since they specify all functional RNA chains and proteins. Organisms have 2 main steps that separate the protein and its protein coding gene i.e. RNA and DNA.
The genetic codes are also known as a set of rules that translate a gene to a functional protein. Amino acids and the basic building blocs of the genetic material have to be established so that the genes can be translated to functional proteins successfully. The total complement of genes that are found in a cell or organism is referred to as Genome. The genes that appear together on a single chromosome in a specific species can appear separate in another species. There are very many species that have numerous copies of genome in the somatic cells.
Genetics and health
To appreciate the roles of genetics in illness and health, it is important to understand the interrelation of genomes, chromosomes and genes as well as how the DNA functions as the major information center for living things. Genes are the basic units of hereditary information made of DNA and found in the chromosomes. They contain the instructions needed to produce proteins. Human beings have 46 chromosomes that are found in 23 pairs. Changes in structure, size and shape of the chromosome can cause a variety of mental and physical abnormalities and illness.
There are some illnesses that are normally passed on to off springs from parents as a result of genetic inheritance. This happens in the same way that that simple genetic traits are passed on. The inherited copies of a gene normally determine the observable characteristics (phenotype). When the genes that represent a certain trait are found in different forms, they may appear in a several ways in populations and individuals. These are also known as alleles. Off springs normally receive 2 alleles from both parents. The genotype of living things is usually a combination of the inherited alleles from the parents.
It has been known for very many years that heredity normally affects health. The genetics normally explain why and how certain traits like blood type and hair color run in families. Genomics which were introduced about 2 decades ago is a discipline that studies interactions and functions of genes. In terms of disease and health, genomics have a wider and more promising range than the genetics discipline. This is because the science of genomics mostly relies in access and knowledge of the whole genome that applies to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and colorectal and breast cancer. It also plays a huge role in infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV.
Genetic variations in various disorders may have a causative or protective role in the expression of a number of diseases. Diseases fall into 3 categories: there are those that are genetic in origin, those that are caused by environmental changes and those where environmental factors and genetics contribute to their development. Understanding a high level of genomics has helped scientists to identify the genes that are involved in a high number of diseases. This helps them to come up with more effective solutions that are used to com up with cur for the ailments. Many bet that the study of genetics will solve many illnesses in a near future.
Individuals can go through a genetic test which is the analysis of DNA in humans, RNA, proteins and chromosomes to detect any heritable diseases for the purpose of clinical decision making, diagnosis and treatment. This is normally done by extracting DNA from the body’s white blood cells and drawing blood samples. There are also numerous techniques that can be used for genetic testing. They can be performed in adults, single parents, children and even newborns. The tests can also be done to find out prediction of how the drugs will respond future heath risks and the assessment of the risks that they can bring to the young ones. It is important to go through these tests to make sure everything is okay.