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The Role of Genetics on Development PSY/104 Child and Adolescent Development The Role of Genetics on Development We all know that since the beginning time history has taught us that generations of human beings are born, molded, and changed from generation to the next through genetics. During that time people have always wondered how exactly this miraculous feat really works? Just from a quick observation you can always tell that a child may look more like one parent but after close observation and understanding you will come to realize that there is more than the outside looks that makes a person who they really are.

In this paper, I will try to briefly explain the role genetics play in human development, how genes of two parents determine the physical makeup of a child, and how certain abnormalities may cause chromosomal disorders such as Huntington’s disease. From the beginning of someone’s life there is no doubt that biology sets the stage for that person’s path through physical and mental development. The genes that parents pass down to their children sets up that path of lifelong development, but there has to be that beginning.

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This all starts with the development of the embryo. Basically when the male reproductive cell interacts with the female reproductive cell those two cells start the process with the chromosomes for that new life. The genes that are developed from these chromosomes comprise the DNA, basically the map of the human being. All cells minus the male and female reproductive cells have 46 chromosomes and they have 23 in-order to keep the perfect balance of the chromosomes when combining the beginning.

So how do children inherit specific traits from their parents? Everyone has specific genes that they may be able to develop from both of their parents but that does not mean that they will used or expressed and this is called the phenotype or what is actually used from the possible genes available. You may have one tall parent and one short parent so automatically you have the chance to gain one of these physical traits but what you actually get, either short or tallness is expressed in your phenotype.

The way your genes mixed with other genes can determine which set of genes will actually be expressed. Also environmental factors such as a woman smoking the entire time while a child is still in utero can cause that child to be underdeveloped in certain areas such a as height, weight, or mental capacity as well. http://psychology. about. com/od/early-child-development/a/genes-and-development. htm

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