Genetic Inheritance

In genetic inheritance both parents contribute one half of the genetic material that is needed to create offspring. On these contributed genes are chromosomes that contain the information that is needed to construct offspring. Each of these chromosomes (also know as autosomes) is considered dominant (most likely to manifest itself) or recessive (less likely to manifest itself). If an individual receives both a gene for a dominant trait (i.e brown hair) and a recessive gene ( i.e. blond hair) they will have brown hair. If an individual inherits a recessive gene (i.e. blue eyes) from both parents they will have blue eyes. It is this tendency to manifest dominant traits that is referred to as autosomal dominance.

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