Find Out What You're Made Of

By: Bhargavi S., Priyanka S., Carrie C., and Kelsey L.

What Makes Us Who We Are

You are made of cells and each cell has forty six chromosomes which is twenty three pairs of chromosomes that contain DNA. You get twenty three from your mom and twenty three from your dad. Your DNA makes up your genes which determine everything about you- from the color of your eyes and hair, to your height, and even what disorders you may have. Bouchard’s recent study has shown that genes matter. Genes are what makes everyone unique in their own way. Since you get your DNA from your parents, whatever characteristics you have are from them. For example, you might get your blonde hair from you mom and your brown eyes from your dad. Since you get half of your DNA from you mom and the other half from your dad, does that mean that you and your siblings will look the same? Not necessarily, unless you and your siblings are twins. You and your brother or sister will still share few facial features due to the similarity in the DNA you have received. Everyone has different and unique genetics and DNA, so no two people are alike, which makes us who we are.

What Are Chromosomes and How Are They Passed Down?

What is a Chromosome?

When DNA Passed Down to Offspring Is... Well... Different!

There are many cases where DNA and genes that are passed down from parents to children turns out to be a little different, resulting in offspring that reflects the genetic code(s). Here are a just a few cases in which this may occur:

Maria and Lucy Aylmer

  • There are many twins that are born to their parents that have different races, while their parents share different races two. But aren’t the children supposed to be a mixed race? in Lucy and Maria Aylmer were born on January 1997, as a 2015 study stated that the twins who are born not as identical to their sibling inherit different genes as they come from separate eggs. Their mother, Donna, carries genes for black and white skin, but the offspring have inherited separate genes for color.

The Durrant Family

  • News from another family in March 2015, the Durrant family had two sets of twins, which were seven years apart, that had different colored skin (mixed-race twins). Scientists say that this a 2 in a million occurrence, and that their genes were separated based on their family gene pool.

Sexual Reproduction

To get DNA from the parents to the offspring, that requires a process called Sexual Reproduction or Meiosis.

  • Prophase I- The chromosomes condense, and the nuclear envelope breaks down. crossing-over occurs.
  • Metaphase I- pairs of homologous chromosomes move to the equator of the cell.
  • Anaphase I- Homologous Chromosomes move to opposite polls of the cell.

  • Telophase I and Cytokinesis- Chromosomes gather at the poles of the cells. the cytoplasm divides.
  • Prophase II- a new spindle forms around the chromosomes
  • Metaphase II- Chromosmes line up at the equator.
  • Anaphase II- Centromeres divides and chromatids move to opposite polls of the cells.
  • Telophase II and Cytokinesis- a nuclear envolope forms around each set of chromosomes. The cytoplasm divides.
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Diseases Linked With Genetics

Components that make up genetic code are common to all organisms, but there are a lot of diseases that are linked with genetics. The most common types of genetic diseases are cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and hemophilia.

Every male gets an X chromosome from his mother and a Y from his father. Diseases inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern require only one genetic mutation to cause symptoms. Diseases inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern require two genetic mutations (one from each parent) to cause symptoms. Many genetic disorders result from gene changes that are present in essentially every cell in the body. As a result, these disorders often affect many body systems, and most cannot be cured. However, approaches may be available to treat or manage some of the associated signs and symptoms. When disorders are passed down to twins,

Beyond genetics: what makes identical twins different?

Survey Results

A recent survey was taken to see how much people know about genetics that are passed down to twin, and what disorders or 'mix-ups' may occur in their specific gene pool. When our group received the results, we found a pattern/trend in the answers. Most of the people who were surveyed thought it was possible for twins to be different races, born to parents of mixed races, as about 65% of people said it was possible for twins to have different hair and eye colors too. Based on this survey that was taken, we decided to describe how DNA is passed down from parent to offspring, and how several genetic disorders may occur with twins.


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