Get My Good Side, Will Ya?

People say I look like my dad a lot. Yet others say that I look like my mom. So I’d like think I got the best of both my mom and my dad. But, seriously speaking, we are the best of both worlds, regardless of what other people say. That’s basically what inheritance is. Simply put, we are not a clone of your father or mother, but have traits passed down to us from both to make, well, you. How do I know for sure? Well, we have Gregor Mendel to thank for that.

Gregor Mendel pioneered the science of genetics by discovering certain properties, laws, you might say, of biological inheritance. He did so by experimenting with garden pea plants. Yes, you heard me right. Garden pea plants. Okay, hear me out, because it’ll only get somewhat confusing from here on out. So, he started off with two different colored pea plants, a white flower breed and a purple flower breed. He labeled these the parental or P generation. Afterwards, he crossbred both of these and after quite a while of waiting, he noticed something peculiar. Instead of finding pink-ish offspring, which is a blend of both white and purple, he found that all of them were purple. Weird, right? Well, he thought so, too, which is why he didn’t stop there. He repeated the procedure but this time, with the offspring which he called the F1 generation.

After he self-fertilized them, he obtained yet another unexpected result. He found out that this time, there was a 3 to 1 ratio of purple flower pea plants and white flower pea plants respectively. He kept repeating this process over and over again, with other characteristics of pea plants, eventually finding patterns. From this, the Punnett square is born. Oh, he also proposed a few laws which are now known as the Mendelian Principles of Genetics. I added a link below to an online page that describes them in detail.

Still on the topic of inheritance, I decided to do one of the experiments suggested in my science book that would help me determine from which side I got most of my traits. The result, well, wasn’t surprising. I got most of my traits from my dad, but that’s only out of few traits observed. Maybe if we take a look at all my characteristics, the result would change. But, for now, it’ll do.

Your boy,

Seth Martin


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