Common Core Achieve

CHAPTER 4

Humans all have the same basic physical features but, with the exception of identical twins, everyone looks different. Every living organism has physical characteristics that set it apart from other individuals. All of these observable traits are passed down, or inherited, from a parent to its offspring. Although each species has unique characteristics, scientists have discovered that all living things share common ancestors. In fact, all life on Earth can be traced back to a single organism.

  • arrow_drop_downBasic Principles of Genetics

    Genes are sub-units of DNA, which is found in nearly every cell type in every living organism. Each gene or combination of genes contains a specific code that specifies the characteristics of a particular trait. Learn how genes are passed from parents to offspring, and how the combination of genes in each offspring is what makes it different from its parents.

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  • arrow_drop_downProbability of Traits

    Scientists can look at two parent organisms and predict the characteristics of their offspring. Learn how to use a Punnett square to determine the probability that the offspring of two parents will inherit certain traits.

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  • arrow_drop_downCommon Ancestry

    Scientists group together, or classify, organisms according to how many traits they have in common. Learn how scientists have traced the evolution of species to see where they branched apart and developed unique traits.

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  • arrow_drop_downHeredity: Genetic Variations and Expression

    Scientists group together, or classify, organisms according to how many traits they have in common. Learn how scientists have traced the evolution of species to see where they branched apart and developed unique traits.

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  • arrow_drop_downSelection and Adaptation

    Scientists group together, or classify, organisms according to how many traits they have in common. Learn how scientists have traced the evolution of species to see where they branched apart and developed unique traits.

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Goal Setting

You can gain an understanding of genetics by studying your own family. Are there any unique traits specific to one or more members of your family, such as eye color? Make a chart and list the members of your family. As you read, choose or investigate four traits that interest you. Compare each family member and describe that trait for each individual. Are there traits common to all family members? Are some traits unique to one individual?

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