Related topics: genes

Grandparents favor genetically close grandchildren

( -- New research suggests that grandparents naturally and subconsciously favor the grandchildren who are most closely related to them genetically. The phenomenon is called "sexually antagonistic grandparental ...

'Junk DNA' defines differences between humans and chimps

For years, scientists believed the vast phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees would be easily explained – the two species must have significantly different genetic makeups. However, when their genomes ...

How predictable is evolution?

Understanding how and why diversification occurs is important for understanding why there are so many species on Earth. In a new study published on 19 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers show that ...

Is the outcome of evolution predictable?

If one would rewind the tape of life, would evolution result in the same outcome? The Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould came up with this famous thought experiment. He suggested that evolution would not repeat ...

Wildflowers combat climate change with diversity

In 1859, when Charles Darwin first articulated the theory of evolution, he speculated that a process of natural selection led species to adapt to their environments over time. He believed traits that helped an organism survive ...

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A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior (such as a bird's nest). Phenotypes result from the expression of an organism's genes as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two.

The genotype of an organism is the inherited instructions it carries within its genetic code. Not all organisms with the same genotype look or act the same way because appearance and behavior are modified by environmental and developmental conditions. Similarly, not all organisms that look alike necessarily have the same genotype.

This genotype-phenotype distinction was proposed by Wilhelm Johannsen in 1911 to make clear the difference between an organism's heredity and what that heredity produces. The distinction is similar to that proposed by August Weismann, who distinguished between germ plasm (heredity) and somatic cells (the body). The Genotype-Phenotype concept should not be confused with Francis Crick's central dogma of molecular biology which is a statement about the directionality of molecular sequential information flowing from DNA to protein (but which cannot become transferred from proteins).

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