Phenotypes, Genotypes, and the Environment

In today’s lesson on Inheritance, we acted as genetics experts and used fish to examine how different traits are inherited through complete or incomplete dominance. We specifically examined the role that the environment might play. When a recessive allele is unfavored (as with the yellow fish in our algae-rich pond) we found that the recessive trait can still linger in the genome of the fish and can resurface repeatedly over generations. However, when a dominant trait is unfavored (as with green fish in our toxic waste spill) the dominant allele quickly diminishes in the population until it completely disappears!

Fenotipos, Genotipos y el Ambiente

La lección de hoy trató sobre la herencia, y actuamos como si fuéramos expertos en genética. Utilizamos peces para examinar cómo diferentes rasgos se heredan a través de dominancia completa o incompleta. Específicamente, examinamos el rol que el ambiente puede tener sobre la herencia. Cuando un alelo recesivo es desfavorable (como en los peces amarillos en nuestra laguna rica en algas), encontramos que el rasgo recesivo puede permanecer silente en el genoma del pez y puede resurgir repetidamente durante generaciones. Sin embargo, cuando un rasgo dominante es desfavorable (como en los peces verdes en nuestro vertedero de desechos tóxicos), el alelo dominante rápidamente disminuye en la población hasta que desaparece completamente.

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Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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