Everyone has their own set of genes. These genes determine certain characteristics and traits that set us apart from others. Genes are inherited or influenced by environmental factors. The genes that are inherited are more obvious ones, such as eye color, height, and hair color. However, there are genes that are not so obvious, including factors like your chances of disease or asthma. Additionally, there are genes that are stimulated by the environment we are brought up in. These genes correlate to factors like the music we like to listen to and the language we speak.
Genes are comprised of DNA. DNA builds everything that is made, an individual or a plant, DNA is responsible. There are 4 main building blocks that comprise DNA, A, C, T, and G. The order in which these chemical bases connect is what builds our unique genetic factors. A will always pair with T just like C will pair with G. After connected, these bases come together to build larger strands known as genes. A large set of genes is referred to as a genome. A genome creates an organism. Every person has the same genes arranged in the same order, but the small differences including the sequence of these genes is what makes us different from each other.
Proteins are nick-named the building blocks of life. Proteins are large complex molecules found in every hair on your head down to your toes and everything in between. In total, there are 20 amino acids that create proteins. By putting these 20 different amino acids together in different combinations proteins are able to form and create many different shapes. These shapes determine what the function of the protein is and what it is capable of.
Mutations in our genes are common and usually do not possess a threat. However, when the mutation occurs in the genes that produce proteins, this is where the problems arise.
Actually, the differences in our genes come through mutations. When a cell is copying its DNA, an extra-base is added or a base is left out. In fact, each individual has 60 new variations that our parents do not.
When humans reproduce, DNA is passed through generations to the offspring. Each offspring obtains equal amounts of DNA from each parent, but varying to each sibling. Individuals have two copies of every gene and we pass down one.
Each individual has 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. Reading chromosomes provides researchers with specific information. One way to read chromosomes is by their size. Second is their pattern. The size and the location of the Giemsa bands vary from each individual making them unique. The third is the positioning of the centromere. Centromeres are important as they play a key part when the chromosomes separate.
23andme is an affordable test will show you your health and the chances you have of getting certain diseases.
Genes are advanced and scientists are still uncovering new information about them every year. We are now seeing the importance of genes and the role they play in nutrigenomics and the bigger picture. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Translational Nutrigenomics, Mauka. “Module 1.” 2020, ctgeducation. talentlms.com/unit/view/id:1830.
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The information herein on "Genes: What Are They?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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