Chapter 14 covers Mendel and the Gene Idea. This topic is extremely relevant today and is seen in everyday life. Every organism has genes and a parent or parents who gave them those genes. In humans, genetics make each human unique and gives much variety to life.
Mendel first began breeding garden peas in 1857. He discovered the basic principles of heredity by breeding these peas. Through Mendel’s work, we understand heredity and can further study it. Heredity shows humans how they came to have the features they do and also serves as a tool for predicting what offspring will be like. Through Mendel’s work scientists have opened new doors in the field of genetics that would not be thought possible before. Mendel chose peas for their many varieties. They can be in many different colors and shapes which make them ideal for cross breading. Learning about Mendel’s work with peas it is intriguing that both our genes and the genes of a pea function in the same basic way. Both humans and peas get alleles from their parents and express the dominant alleles.
Learning about the basics of genetics will be very useful throughout life. Knowing what dominant and recessive traits do will be very important throughout my science career. Through understanding codominance, incomplete dominance, and epistasis, I have learned how some organisms can exhibit phenotypes that the parents did not. Through codominance I know understand how some organisms can express both the dominant and the recessive traits. Incomplete dominance explains how organisms like roan cows can occur. And how epistasis causes golden retrievers to have their fur pigment. Learning about X chromosome inactivation was also very interesting because I had not heard of it before. Knowing how females form Barr bodies and switch of X chromosomes was very interesting to me. I also learned that males can have an extra X chromosome which I did not know was possible. This extra X chromosome leads to undeveloped testes and the inability to reproduce. The laws of segregation and independent assortment are also a big part of genetics. The law of segregation states that the alleles chromosomes will be separated. This explains how the offspring get on allele from their mother and one allele form their father. The law of independent assortment states that the chromosomes that will be separated randomly line up alone the metaphase plate during Meiosis I. This accounts for much genetic variation in organisms. Overall this section taught me much about the basics of genetics that I will need to know through out my whole science career.
This chapter was very intriguing overall. Since genetics is a very relevant topic, I took much interest in it. While studying genetics, I learned more about myself and how I came to be in a genetics sense. Through genetics I can know understand how traits are passed on or carried in organisms. Overall this topic has taught me more about life than I knew before, and has given me a greater appreciation for the uniqueness of life.