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Heredity and Genetics

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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Genetics  The study of the structure and functions of genes  How they are transmitted from one generation to another  How they operate in populations  Studies how the genetics makeup of an organism influences its physical and behavioral characteristics  Provides explanations for psychological processes  How people develop into who they are Heredity  The sum of traits and tendencies inherited from a persons parents or biological ancestors DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)  Strands of sugar and phosphates are connected by rungs made from nucleotides and molecules o Adenine o Thymine o Guanine o Cytosine  Junk DNA o Not involved in the direct synthesis of protein Genes  Small units of DNA that direct the synthesis of proteins and enzymes  Location of a particular sequence if nucleotides along the DNA o Particular sequence of nucleotide molecules direct the synthesis of moles  Regulate the biological and physical development of the body and its organs  Influence development through synthesis of proteins  Genes are recipes consisting of different nucleotide sequences o To look for the gene for the ability to learn, we would look for the synthesis of proteins that affect this ability  Eg, Dopamine effects learning  Locus o Where a particular gene is located Genome  Total set of genetic material for an organism o Human genome  Comprises 24 different DNA molecules in men  25 molecules in women  Genotype o Actual genetic makeup of a trait  Phenotype o How the trait is expressed Enzymes  Proteins that regulate the structure of bodily cells and the processes occurring within those cells Chromosomes  Threadlike structures in the nuclei of living cells o Contain genes  Each set of chromosomes contain different DNA molecules o Has a different sequence of genes Sex Chromosomes  Contain the instructural code for the development of male and female sex characteristics o Sperm and ova only contain one member of each chromosome pair o Some of the genetic information on member of a pair has been exchanged with the information on the other member Autosomes  Chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes Meiosis  The form of cell division by which new sperm and ova are formed o Chromosomes within the cell are randomly rearranged so that new sperm and ova contain 23 individual chromosomes (half of those found in other bodily cells)  Sexual reproduction increases a species ability to adapt to environmental changes o Leads to genetic diversity  Genetic diverse species have a better change of adapting to a changing environment Alleles  Alternative forms of the same gene Dominant Trait  The trait that is exhibited when an individual posses heterozygous alleles Recessive Trait  A trait the occurs only when it is expressed by homozygous alleles Polygenic control  Protein synthesis that is influences by man pairs of genes, not just a single pair o Different environments influence the expression of polygenic traits Mutations  Accidental alternation in the DNA code within a single gene o Can either be spontaneous, occuring naturally, or the result of environmental factors  Eg, exposure to high radiation Chrom
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