PicBod- DNA and Genes

I decided I wanted to gain a greater understanding on DNA and genetics so I know exactly how they effect our identity.

Gene – a segment of DNA that codes for a protein, which in turn codes for a trait (skin tone, eye color..etc), a gene is a stretch of DNA.

Genes influence what we look like on the outside and how we work on the inside. Genes are made of a chemical called DNA. Your genes are unique – unless you have an identical twin. Half of your genes are from your mother, the other half are from your father, who, in turn, received their genes from their parents. Many characteristics aren’t due to genes alone – environment also plays an important role. For example, children may inherit ‘tall genes’ from their parents, but if their diet doesn’t provide them with the necessary nutrients, they may not grow very tall.

Both your genes and your environment influence the person you become. Your genes don’t determine your personality, but they may predispose you to certain behaviour; your genes influence your personality, and people with certain types of personality may be more likely to fall into groups, such as becoming an addict. Your genes may affect how anxious you are, or how easily you become depressed, for example. In turn, this may affect how you react to certain situations. However, your experiences, upbringing and circumstances are probably the most important influences on your personality. But genes are far from the whole story – although identical twins share identical genetic information, they often have very different personalities.

DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) molecules are large and complex. They carry the genetic code that determines the characteristics of a living thing.

Except for identical twins, each person’s DNA is unique. This is why people can be identified using DNA fingerprinting. DNA can be cut up and separated, forming a sort of ‘bar code’ that is different from one person to the next.

Everyone has many DNA variants. These arise by a process of mutation, and can be passed on to your children. Mostly they are inherited from your ancestors, but some are the result of a recent mutation. The vast majority of DNA variants have no effect whatsoever. Those that do have an effect can be ‘helpful’ as well as ‘harmful’. They are the source of some of the differences between people, for example, the difference in your facial features that make you recognisable to your friends.

I found it interesting to see how much our genetics actually affect the person we are today, even though other factors need to be taken into account such as our upbringing and environment, I still believe that DNA and genes make us who we are and therefore they can be seen as our true identity.



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