|MadSci Network: Genetics|
Family and Genetics Genetics, in terms of your family can only help with traits, not personalities and family stories. You can trace certain traits through the generations - like hair color, chin shape, eye color, curly hair, widow's peaks, baldness, certain geneticically influenced diseases and the like. So, for instance, if you have red curly hair, brown eyes, a very prominent nose, and bad allergies, you can look back in you family and see where these came from. Who has red hair, who has the same nose and who else was always sniffling. Also, if there is a genetic disease - like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Cysitic Fibrosis (CF), you can calculate your chance of either getiing, or being a carrier for these diseases. And this would become more of a concern as you get older, married, and think about having kids. The calculations for to figure these out are a bit more complicated than what you may have done in school with pea plants and the like. Interestingly enough, tracing genetic diseases back in your family can (sometimes) help explain some of the odd stories in your family - like the great uncle who was bed ridden at an early age (maybe MS?) or the great great grandmother who had lots of babies die (CF?)... And now they've even found that Schizophrenia is somewhat genetically determined. So - for practical reasons genetics may actually be a little more useful for predicting the future appearance of family, but it can also be useful for enhancing hindsight. Hope this helps! Greta PS - the diseases I named were not chosen because for some psychic reason I think you might have them, instead, I chose them because they are well known, and you might be familliar with them. There are other genetic disease, but they are much more obscure, and therefore I think they would have been less useful as examples. - Good Luck
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Genetics.