MadSci Network: Genetics

Re: How is a persons height determined.

Date: Mon Jun 5 16:28:33 2000
Posted By: Matthew Champion, Grad student, Biochemistry/Biophysics Texas A&M University
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 949451146.Ge

	That is a good question.  The answer it turns out is quite complicated, 
so I will be brief and generalize.  Height is in a large part, determined by 
genetics.  There are three primary dfeterminants of height and they are, 
your parents genetics, e.g. how tall they are... and indirect genetic 
determinants, such as race, or something like dwarfism.  The third, is 
nutrition, and diet.
	To a large extent the genetics of our parent's will determine how tall 
we are, that is a child of tall parents will tend to be taller, but this is 
only true in the statistical general sense.  There are always exceptions.  
The myriad genes that control height are not known at this point, so to say 
exactly what and how tall is difficult to say at this point.  Dwarfism, for 
example, is heritable, but two dwarfs often have normal height offspring.  
Nutrition, will only make small differences overall and over time... On 
average, children are taller today than 100 years ago, in most part due to 
improved childhood nutrition.  
	A small child in an otherwise tall family is not unusual, but probably 
a result of a the variety of genetic possibilities in humans.  if the result 
is not due to a mutation, or difference such as dwarfism, or growth hormone 
deficiency, then it may or may not be passed onto offspring of future 
generations.  If it is something life a mutation in growth hormone, then it 
actually follows Mendelian inheritance for that particular allele.  
	I hope this helps you, good luck.


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