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Uniquely you...
The population of the Earth is more than 6 billion people,
and no two individuals (apart from identical twins) are
genetically the same. Why?
People are different because they inherit different
characteristics (or traits) from their parents.
Like all babies, this child carries a
unique set of genes; half from his
mother and half from his father.
A person's unique characteristics are caused by:
the set of genes they inherited from their parents (nature)
the environment in which they developed (nurture).
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Inherited and acquired characteristics
Some characteristics, such as eye
colour and earlobe shape, are only
determined by genes. These are
called inherited characteristics.
Other types of characteristics,
such as scars and hair length,
are not inherited but depend
on environmental factors.
These are called acquired
characteristics.
Differences in some characteristics are due to a combination
of both inherited and environmental factors. In some cases,
it can be difficult to say how much influence each factor has.
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Nature, nurture or both?
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Phenotype and genotype
The overall appearance of an organism depends on two
things:
1. its genes (inherited characteristics)
2. the effects of the environment in which it lives.
All the observable characteristics of an organism are called
its phenotype.
The full set of genes of an organism is called its genotype.
An organism's phenotype therefore depends on its genotype
plus environmental effects.
phenotype = genotype + environmental effects
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