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How do Genes and the Environment Interact?

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Jessica Copeland

on 5 May 2016

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Transcript of How do Genes and the Environment Interact?

Make a list of different things that define you. It can be about your appearance, your personality, your hobbies, etc.
Who are you?
How do Genes and the Environment Interact?
Now, go through your list and determine which of your characteristics are something that you inherited genetically, and which of your characteristics are something that you learned or acquired later in your life.
Inherited or Learned?
Not all of our traits are determined by our genetics. Musicians have to practice in order to master their instrument. Babies aren't born knowing how to skateboard. They have to learn.

The phenotypes observed in an organism are the result of both its genes and interactions with its environment.
Acquired Traits
Babies are born with genes that give them mouths, vocal chords, tongues, and all of the necessary "hardware" for speech. However, they must learn a language in order to actually speak and communicate.

Justin Bieber's haircut is not because of his genetics. He acquired that trait at a hair salon.

Your scars from various falls and cuts are not inherited genetically.

These are all examples of acquired traits.
Inherited and Acquired Traits
Genes can control when sunflowers bloom, but the amount of sunlight and water they receive also play a role.

Environmental factors can also influence how your genes are expressed.
Genes and the Environment
You may have natural musical ability, but practicing will help you improve.

Interactions with the environment can have a positive affect on the expression of genes.
Practice makes perfect
Not all environmental interactions are beneficial to gene expression. Smoking and a high pollution environment can affect the way genes are expressed in lung cells, leading to cancer.

Negative Interactions
Changes in genes after the initial combinations of alleles from each parent cannot be passed onto offspring. This means that your children cannot inherit your acquired traits.

This does not mean that changes in genes don't occur naturally anyway. These changes can, in fact, be good by adding to genetic diversity.
Can these changes be passed on?
Not inherited!
Make a list of all of your major acquired traits. Explain why each one of them is an acquired trait and not an inherited trait.
Make a list of at least 5 positive environmental interactions with genes that affect how traits are expressed. Explain each one.
Make a list of at least 5 negative environmental effects on traits. Explain each one.
Sum it all up!
Define inherited traits and acquired traits. Give three examples of your inherited traits and three examples of your acquired traits, explaining why they are either inherited or acquired. Explain how the environment can affect how genes are expressed and give examples of negative and positive impacts.
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