ESO 4 B & G 2

Heredity and Transmission

What to Learn

  • Mendelian inheritance. Dominance, codominance and incomplete dominance.
  • The Chromosomal Theory of Inheritance. Chromosomes, loci and alleles.
  • The inheritance of sex. Heredity linked to sex; some common diseases.
  • Polygenic and polyallelic inheritance.
  • Mutations. Causes, types and results.
  • The Human Genome Project: benefits and concerns.
  • Genetic testing: basic techniques, benefits and concerns.
  • Genetic manipulation. Basic techniques. Most significant current applications (GM food, gene therapy): benefits and concerns.
  • Cloning. Nuclear transfer. Benefits and concerns.
  • Stem cells: basic techniques, benefits and concerns.

Key Information

Vocabulary: Mendelian Genetics
Locus (pl. loci)A place in a chromosome where a gene resides. Each locus contains the encoded information for a trait, such as "colour of the eyes".
AlleleOr allelomorph gene. Any of a number of the alternative varieties of a gene that reside in the same locus. Each allele contains the encoded information for a quality or a value of a trait, such as "brown colour of the eyes". All the possible alleles for the same locus form a "family of allelomorph genes".
HaploidCell or individual or species with one single set of chromosomes, such as bacteria or the human gametes.
DiploidCell or individual or species with two sets of chromosomes, such as the body cells of humans (and most eukaryotes). Each chromosome of a set is similar to one chromosome of the other set in that they carry exactly the same loci, but they are not identical, as the specific alleles of each locus can be different.
HomologousIn diploid individuals, each pair of chromosomes that carry the same loci. Humans have 22 pairs of homologous chromosomes and one pair (the sex chromosomes) which are partially homologous.
HomozygousOr "pure breed". Diploid individuals are homozygous for a locus when the alleles present in that locus are the same in both homologous chromosomes.
HeterozygousOr "hybrid". Diploid individuals are heterozygous for a locus when the alleles present in that locus are different in each homologous chromosome.
DominanceA type of relationship between two different alleles of the same family whereby one allele (said to be the "dominant" one) cancels out the phenotypic effect of the other (said to be "recessive").
CodominanceA type of relationship between two different alleles of the same family whereby both alleles express their phenotypic effects without blending. This is the case of the alleles for the "A" and "B" human blood types, whose heterozygosis yields an "AB" type.
Incomplete dominanceA type of relationship between two different alleles of the same family whereby the phenotypic effects of each allele are blended in the phenotype. This is the case of the alleles for the red and white colour for the corolla of the flowers of the snapdragon plant, whose heterozygosis yields a pink colour.
Mind Map: First artificial cell
[Source]

Movies, Animations and Audios

Main Concepts of Genetics
Mendel's gene theory explained

Mendel's gene theory explained

A quite aged but still great and clear explanation of Mendel's works.

Genetics 101 Part 1: What are genes?

Genetics 101 Part 1: What are genes?

On DNA, genes and chromosomes.

Produced by 23andMe

Genetics 101 Part 2: What are SNPs?

Genetics 101 Part 2: What are SNPs?

On molecular-level mutations and inherited variation.

Produced by 23andMe

Genetics 101 Part 3: Where do your genes come from?

Genetics 101 Part 3: Where do your genes come from?

On chromosomes and gender inheritance.

Produced by 23andMe

Genetics 101 Part 4: What is phenotype?

Genetics 101 Part 4: What is phenotype?

On the phenotype and its genetic and environmental influences.

Produced by 23andMe

From DNA to protein

From DNA to protein

This animation shows how proteins are made in the cell from the information in the DNA code.

Produced by YourGenome

Code for Life (I)

Code for Life (I)

Beginning more than 3.5 billion years ago, a tiny, primitive molecule encoded instructions, that it passed to its children, who passed it to their children and so on, all the way down through time to all living things today. Watch the story of DNA.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Code for Life (II)

Code for Life (II)

Second part of the series.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Code for Life (III)

Code for Life (III)

Third part of the series.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Code for Life (IV)

Code for Life (IV)

Fourth part of the series.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Code for Life (V)

Code for Life (V)

Fifth part of the series.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Code for Life (VI)

Code for Life (VI)

Sixth part of the series.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

Applied Genetics
Genetic engineering (I)

Genetic engineering (I)

Genetic engineering using plasmids put simple.

Genetic engineering (II)

Genetic engineering (II)

Comprehensive video on the basic process of genetic engineering: creating recombinant DNA from different species.

18 genetically modified organisms you don't know about

18 genetically modified organisms you don't know about

From Glow in the Dark Rabbit to Anti-Cancer Purple Tomatoes, here are 18 Genetically Modified Organisms You Don't Know About.

Gene therapy

Gene therapy

See how a virus can be recombined with human DNA to save the life of a person.

DNA matching

DNA matching

DNA matching is used as a tool in a variety of applications, from paternity determinations to criminal forensics. Learn how it is done.

Produced by Cassiopeia Project

DNA fingerprinting

DNA fingerprinting

A closer look to the DNA matching technique.

High speed gene sequencing

High speed gene sequencing

Commercial video from a firm that has developed a high speed DNA sequencer.

Produced by Helicos Bioscience Corp.

Reproductive Biotechnology
Nuclear transfer (I)

Nuclear transfer (I)

Animation showing how an egg-cell is enucleated and then provided with a diploid nucleus taken from a somatic cell.

Nuclear transfer (II)

Nuclear transfer (II)

Watch how the nuclear transfer process is actually performed.

Stem Cells
Stem cells

Stem cells

This animation explains what stem cells are, their types, and their potential for treating disease. It then shows how hematopoietic stem cell therapy is used to treat leukemia.

Nucleus Medical Media

Images

Now in the News

Scientific American Topic - Genetics 
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Podcasts

The Naked Scientists - Naked Genetics 
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Activities