A genetic characteristic of an individual is any trait that can be attributed to a hereditary cause, coded for in inherited DNA. Any other trait is derived from environmental causes, either while within the womb or outside of it. It can be very difficult to determine if a characteristic is genetic, congenital but not genetic or acquired after birth.Continue Reading
Generally, any characteristic that appears in one family for several generations is suspected to have a genetic cause. Some genetic characteristics are fairly well-known and uncontroversial. These include such benign traits as hair color, eye color, attachment of earlobes, hair texture and freckles. However, just because a trait has a genetic basis does not mean that a person with that gene will have that characteristic.
Among the genes that cause various characteristics in individuals, some are dominant and some are recessive. For instance, if a person carries genes for brown eyes from her mother and genes for blue eyes from her father, her eyes will normally be brown. This is because the genes for brown eyes are dominant over the genes for blue eyes. When both are present, the maternal genes have more influence. This dominance is usually not total, and some compromise between opposing genes is often the result.Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA
The transfer of the genetic message from DNA to mRNA is called transcription. Transcription occurs in a cell's nucleus. RNA polymerase is the enzyme that catalyzes the process of transcription.Full Answer >
Genetic drift is more likely to occur in small populations because when a mutation arises in a member of such a population, they, and potentially their offspring, constitute a much larger proportion of the population than a mutated individual would be in a larger population. As their offspring interbreed with others, the new trait is much more likely to become widespread. A larger population would tend to drown out mutations.Full Answer >
A recessive trait is a characteristic that appears in an individual only if the dominant form of the gene governing the characteristic is not present. Recessive traits are governed by recessive genes. A recessive gene can be masked by a dominant one.Full Answer >
A personality trait is a characteristic that is distinct to an individual. Psychologists determined that there are five major personality traits and that everyone falls into at least one of them.Full Answer >