Role of Genetics on Development Essay

Pages: 4 (1228 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Genetics


What Parents Do Not Intend to Give their Children

When individuals think about what they would like to pass on to their children, they often think of intangible traits such as personal courage or artistic talent. Such attributes no doubt have a genetic or inherited element (because all traits that a human has can arguably be said to have a genetic element), but these are traits that are in large measure learned, although many of them may well be learned from family members to whom an individual is genetically related. Parents may also think about passing on traits that are clearly genetically based, such as a dimple in the chin or curly hair.

However, one of the things that parents may not consider in terms of their contributions to their children is their potential to harm those children in an entirely unintentional way: That is, parents may harm their children all unwillingly by passing along to them a combination of chromosomes that together can cause lifelong problems for their children. This paper examines one of the lesser-known genetic conditions that can occur in an individual who receives a particular genetic contribution from each of his parents and how this condition of Klinefelter's syndrome results from a different general mechanism that occurs in better known and more serious genetic conditions such as hemophilia (Klinefelter syndrome, 2007).

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Human genetics is both immensely complex and very simple. The simple part is that each person inherits half of his genetic information from his mother and half from his father. (Masculine pronouns are used throughout This paper because, while of course genetic dynamics work in females as well as in males, the condition being examined here occurs only in males.) Understanding how the genetic material of parent generations affects those of their children is simple in its general outline as it is complex in the repercussions that the parental genetic contribution has on a child.

Essay on Role of Genetics on Development Assignment

Most of the well-known genetic diseases (although it is probably more accurate to call them 'conditions' rather than 'diseases' since they cannot be caught from another person or from the environment but must inherit them) result when parents each have a single gene that, when combined with a copy of that gene from the other parent, causes a condition to move from potential to expressed. One can use the condition of hemophilia to explain how this works. If a mother has only one of the genes that an individual must have to have hemophilia, then she herself will not be a hemophiliac but rather will be a "carrier" -- an individual who carries to future generations the genetic possibility of the disease (Klinefelter syndrome, 2007).

The same is true for the paternal set of genes: A father can be a "carrier" of genetic diseases, but so long as he has only half but not a full complement of the genetic coding for hemophilia. He will not himself be a hemophiliac but his children can be -- if their mother is also a carrier. Two parents who are both carriers of the chromosome that underlies a genetic disease like hemophilia will not necessarily have children who have the condition. Rather, one out of four of their children will have the condition, two will themselves be carriers, and one will be neither sick nor a carrier. This basic mathematics of genetic inheritance was one of the first important truths understood about genetics (Klinefelter syndrome, 2007).

The genetic mechanism that causes Klinefelter's syndrome is different because it arises from a genetic mistake, a mistake in the way that genetic inheritance works when it follows biologically "normal" rules. It is important to note that while hemophilia can… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Role of Genetics on Development" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Role of Genetics on Development.  (2012, April 17).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Role of Genetics on Development."  17 April 2012.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Role of Genetics on Development."  April 17, 2012.  Accessed April 12, 2021.