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Essay 1

OPTION C: GENETIC ADVICE


A close friend confides in you that he thinks that one of "his" children is not his. When pressed
for details he points out to you that both he and his wife have dark brown hair and that his baby
has blonde hair. In the conversation he adds that although his mother was a blonde and his wife's
father was a blonde, that it is pretty obvious that neither he nor his wife have blonde
genes. What do say to your friend? Use a chart or diagram to support your conclusions.

ANSWER
For anyone to understand the basics of genes they have to understand the basics of any
living organism. I think we all know that we are made up of cells, but what does that have to do
with genetics? All living things are composed of cells that promote growth and sustain life
according to instructions in their molecules of DNA (Berger, 2014, p.48). DNA is like a spiral
of information, and each molecule of DNA is called a chromosome. And those instructions on
the chromosome are genes. So, to break it down, we are made up of cells, and every cell has
information or an instruction list to tell that cell what to do or how to look.
With that we can go to how we are made. It is when two gametes(sperm and ovum)
combines to form a zygote. Since each gamete has only one of each persons pair of
chromosomes, each man or women can produce more than 8 million versions of their
chromosome (Berger, 2014, p.50). Understanding how many different variations (an allele) that
two humans can produce is amazing. There are endless different genes and traits that alleles can
make.
Now that we understand the broad idea of genes we can go to the specifics whys of our traits.
Looking at the big picture of genetics is called the genotype, while the phenotype is the physical
appearance. The genotype is the beginning of diversity; the phenotype is the actual
manifestation of it (Berger, 2014, pg 50).
The big question is why do some children not look like their parents? There are many
instances where the parents, who both have brown eyes end up with a child who has blue eyes.
Or with your instance you and your wife have dark hair but your baby has blonde hair. This
under no circumstances means that it is not your child. Understanding genetics will clear up all
of your doubts.
In heredity the dominant gene, is far more influential than the other, the recessive gene.
When someone inherits a recessive gene that is not expressed the the phenotype, that person is
said to be a carriers of the gene (Berger, 2014, pg.54).It is a simple, dominant and recessive
genes is the answer! Back to the basics: we know that our a gene can be a lot of different
variations it just depends on the specific allele. And when the two gametes combine the
chromosomes also combine to make up our DNA. Understanding genetics is a crazy thing just
because of all of the different variations in the human genome. We can have a father who has the
genotype for brown eyes and the mother also has the genotype for brown eyes but their child has
blue eyes. That is because both parents were carriers for the recessive trait of blue eyes.
Finally, we can break down why you child has blonde hair(b). We have two people: both
with the dominant trait, brown hair(B). But since your mother was a blond that means her
genotype was bb. While your wife's father is blonde his genotype is also bb. Now, you and your
wife have the dominant B for brown hair, but you guys are both carries for blond hair (b). Both
you and your wifes genotype is Bb. That means that you child had a 75% chance of being dark
haired and a 25% chance of being blonde. You can see the evidence in the table below.

B
b

B
BB(dark haired)
Bb(dark haired)

b
Bb(dark haired)
bb(blonde)

Reference List
Berger, K. S. (2014). Invitation to the life span (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.