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Lecture 7

EASC 101 Lecture 7: 7

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Earth and Planetary Sciences
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Dominant or Recessive? Traits are passed on from parents to offspring during sexual reproduction. Some of these traits are dominant and some are recessive. When they are mixed, a dominant trait will show up in the offspring. The frequency of a particular characteristic does not indicate whether it is dominant or recessive. Frequency varies from population to population. A dominant trait, such as having six fingers, is relatively rare. Nature Versus Nature Not all characteristics are inherited. Some depend entirely on the environment. Non-inherited characteristics are acquired and not necessarily passed on from generation to generation. Athleticism, artistic ability, leadership qualities are all learned during the early years of life. Some variations may be influenced by interactions with the environment. These variations are also non- inherited. Examples include: change in the pigmentation of skin color throughout the seasons due to the sun, height and weight can be influenced by diet. Scars, injuries, clothing, hairstyle, make- up, and cosmetic surgery may change a person’s characteristics, but they are not caused by genetics. The interactions between a person’s genetics and the environment are very complex and are constantly being debated. One way that scientists study the relationship between genetics and the environment is to observe the similarities and differences between identical twins that have been separated at birth and raised in different environments. Changing Our Genetic Information Factors in the environment, or random events can change genetic information contained in DNA. These changes are called mutations, and can cause changes in the structure of organisms, including people. Mutagens, such as X-rays, ultraviolet rays, cosmic rays and some chemicals can cause mutations to occur – some that have little visible effects and some that have dramatic effects. Some mutations can cause cancer, which promote rapid cell division and impair full normal cell development. The cancerous cells can interfere with other cells and prevent certain processes from occurring as they should. If mutations occur in the DNA of reproductive cells, the changes can be passed on from the parent to the offspring, increasing the variation within a species. Artificial Selection in Agriculture (and Ranching) The process of intervention to produce more desirable organisms has been going on for some time. This process takes a long time to see results - usually many generations. Farm
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