everything you need to know about inheritance

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Genetic Material

  • in the nucleus of a typical human body cell there are 23 pairs of chromosomes
  • we inherit one set of 23 chromosomes from each of out parents
  • chromosomes are made from large molecule called DNA
    • DNA can replicate prior to cell division (mitosis or meiosis)
    • DNA code is used to synthesise proteins
  • A gene is a small section of DNA
  • Each gene codes for a particular combination of amino acids which make a specific protein
  • these proteins determine our characteristics
  • each gene may have different forms called alleles
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Picture :)

        drawing showing the relationship of a cell, chromosome, DNA and gene ( 

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Cell Division and Growth

  • New body cells are produced:
    • when the animal is growing
    • to repair damaged tissues
    • to replace worn out tissue
  • Mitosis occurs:
    • all of the chromosomes are replicated
    • the nucleus is divided in 2
  • This results in two genetically identical cells
  • Some cells undergo cell division again and again
  • Some cells carry out their function then die


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  • the cells of the offspring produced by asexual reproduction are produced by mitosis from the parental cells
  • they contain the same genes as the parents
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