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All About Genetics
Genetics is the study of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms
It is generally considered a field of biology, but it intersects frequently with many of the life sciences and is strongly linked with the study of information systems.
The father of genetics is Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk-scientist
Mendel studied 'trait inheritance,' patterns in the way traits were handed down from parents to offspring
He observed that organisms (pea plants) inherit traits by way of discrete "units of inheritance"
This term, still used today, is a somewhat ambiguous definition of what is referred to as a gene.
Trait inheritance and molecular inheritance mechanisms of genes are still a primary principle of genetics in the 21st century, but modern genetics has expanded beyond inheritance to studying the function and behavior of genes
Gene structure and function, variation, and distribution are studied within the context of the cell, the organism (e.g
dominance) and within the context of a population
Genetics has given rise to a number of sub-fields including epigenetics and population genetics
Organisms studied within the broad field span the domain of life, including bacteria, plants, animals, and humans.
Genetic processes work in combination with an organism's environment and experiences to influence development and behavior, often referred to as Nature versus nurture
The intra- or extra-cellular environment of a cell or organism may switch gene transcription on or off
A classic example is two seeds of genetically identical corn, one placed in a temperate climate and one in an arid climate
While the average height of the two corn stalks may be genetically determined to be equal, the one in the arid climate only grows to half the height of the one in the temperate climate, due to lack of water and nutrients in its environment.