There are more than 7 billion people in the world and no two people are the same, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or otherwise. Everyone is different, and the differences can be traced to the traits that are passed onto each person from their parents. Traits are characteristics of an organism that are passed from parent to child.

Physical traits are those characteristics of a person that can be seen and are determined by specific segments of DNA called genes. Genes are grouped together to form chromosomes found inside the nucleus of the cell. Chromosomes contain the information that eventually tells the cell what it is supposed to do and result in the traits a person may have. Every cell in the body, except sperm and egg cells, contain two copies of each gene. Each time a cell divides, the DNA and chromosomes are copied as well.

The genes passed on from the parents to the child will determine the traits of the offspring. Half the chromosomes come from the mother and the other half from the father. Some traits will be recessive, and others will be dominant. Recessive traits are those that can be carried in a person's genes without appearing in that person. For example, a dark-haired person may have one gene for dark hair, which is a dominant trait, and one gene for light hair, which is recessive. The light hair gene is there but does not appear in the person.

Dominant traits are those that are carried in a person's genes and will appear in that person. For example, as stated earlier, dark hair is a dominant trait in humans. If one parent passes on a gene for dark hair and the other a gene for light hair, the child will have dark hair. The only way a child would have light hair is when both parents pass on genes for light hair.

Traits can be passed from parents to the child due to only one gene, but most human traits are the product of interactions between several genes. Regardless of how the gene is passed on, all human traits are inherited and received by the child from one of the parents.

Hair color, earlobe attachment, tongue rolling, skin color, dimples, cleft chin, left or right-handedness, freckles, curly or straight hair, allergies, hand-clasping, colorblindness, hairline shape, and many others are traits determined by the passing on and interaction of genes from parents to the child.

Earlobe attachment is often due to a single gene for which unattached earlobes is dominant and attached earlobes are recessive. However, some scientists believe the trait is probably due to the interaction of several genes. In addition, the size and appearance of the earlobes are inherited traits.

Some people can roll their tongues (dominant), and other people cannot (recessive). As with all recessive traits, two parents may have a recessive gene for a trait and if both pass it onto a child, the child will have a trait for that characteristic. For example, if both parents can roll their tongues, it is possible for a child to be unable to do so. This is because each parent had a recessive gene or trait for non-tongue rolling, and those genes were passed onto the child. Hair color can work the same way. Both parents can have dark hair, but a child can be born with light hair.

Other dominant traits include right-handedness, freckles, curly hair, and many more. Recessive traits include characteristics such as left-handedness, colorblindness, straight hair, non-freckles and others. There are many other traits in which dominant and recessive genes are involved. The more differences there are in the parents' genes, the more possible it is to pass on different combinations of genes resulting in a variety of traits. Therefore, the children of parents may differ greatly from one another in various hereditary traits. Billions and billions of people with billions and billions of combinations of traits lead to everyone in the world being unique.

A: Traits
B: Genes
C: Cells
D: All the above

B: Chromosomes
C: Both A and B
D: Sperm and egg

A: Right-handedness
B: Freckles
C: Non-tongue rolling
D: Curly hair

A: Dark hair
B: Colorblindness
C: Straight hair
D: Left-handedness

A: Dominant trait
B: Recessive trait
C: Depends on the person
D: Both A and B

A: Chromosomes
B: Genes
D: Traits

To link to this Traits page, copy the following code to your site:

Educational Videos