Genetics and Disorders
PSY 104 Child and Adolescent
Instructor: Dominique Jeffery
March 13th, 2013
In this paper I will be addressing the following questions: What are genes? How do genes of the two parents influence the traits of an offspring? What is Sickle Cell and who is at risk? How abnormalities can contribute to genetic and/or chromosomal disorders such as, sickle cell? Before I discuss genes, I have to tell what genes are. Genes are working subunits of DNA. DNA is a vast chemical information database that carries the complete set of instructions for making all the proteins a cell will ever need. Each gene contains a particular set of instructions, usually coding for a particular protein (Understanding Gene Testing). Pioneering child development psychologist Arnold Gesell coined the term maturation to describe this natural course of development that is similar for all children. According to maturation theory, children have an inner timetable for development. It is exemplified by the study of physical development, which is mostly determined by genetics. Genes are inherited from parents and to varying degrees determine characteristics like height, strength, speed, and coordination (Mosser, R. 2011) So how do genes of the two parents influence the traits of an offspring? The entire genetic code of a human is determined by the unique combination of a mother's single ovum (egg) and a father's single sperm. These cells are the sex or reproductive cells. The one cell that is formed after the sperm and egg unite contains instructions on replication that will eventually turn one cell into trillions—each of which contains the identical genetic code of the original. Within each cell are chromosomes, which store the genetic information. The ovum and the sperm first carry the genetic information that will direct development. These sex cells are the only cells in the body that contain 23 chromosomes. (Interestingly, ova are the largest...
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