Heredity

Heredity Meaning

Has it ever happened that your family or your friends say that you have some resemblance to either of your parents? It is a pretty common thing to happen. That’s what heredity is. You imbibe certain traits from your parents which can either be related to appearance or your behavior. Inheritance is another word that is used to describe heredity. Like I said before, the resemblance is bound to be there in one way or the other as inheritance is all about the transfer of traits from parents to their children. The hereditary characteristics can be seen within families as well. An example of heredity would be a child getting the same hair color as either of its parents.

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Heredity Definition

When it comes to inheriting hereditary traits or hereditary genes, to be honest, the science behind it is a bit complex and unpredictable. It is not possible to be sure of which hereditary traits from parents would the child receive. Inheritance is bound to happen but you can’t be sure about how it would happen.

The scientific definition of heredity can be explained in simple terms as, "Heredity or Inheritance is the biological process of transferring genetic information in the form of physical or mental characteristics from the parent to their children." In a family, the hereditary physical traits are often quite easy to point out. 

There can be more than one way to state the heredity meaning or the heredity definition but the science behind it would always remain the same. The heredity definition in biology refers to the science that studies the definition of heredity in biological species and microorganisms.


Mendel’s Inheritance

The famous inheritance law was formulated by Gregor Mendel, who was given the title “The Father of Genetics”. He was a scientist who came up with his “Pea experiment”,  to find out and prove the meaning of heredity. 

As per the Mendel heredity theory, there are three laws of inheritance. They are scientifically stated as the “Laws of Heredity”. They are as follows;

  • The Law of Segregation

  • The Law of Independent Assortment

  • The Law of Dominance

These three laws help to define what heredity is. The results that Mendel got after the “Pea Experiment” were used as a reference to draft the hereditary traits list that we currently use. It is a list of all the traits that you as a child can inherit from your parents. 

The list includes the following;

  • Eye Color

  • Hair Type and Color

  • Height

  • Fingerprints

  • Lips

  • Dimples

  • Teeth Structure

  • Mental Disorders

  • Left-Handedness

  • Blood Sugar

  • Sleeping Style

  • Heart Problems 

These traits can be segregated into the ones that are likely to be inherited from Mother and Father separately. The factor of heredity and evolution should also be taken into account as it may define hereditary with the variations/mutations that can occur.

Inheriting diseases from your parents is one of the heredity biology examples that can be proven. You can say that either or both parents have diabetes, then the likelihood of their child having diabetes is high. But according to Mendel’s theory, there can be variations too. It is all about heredity and evolution.


Fun Fact: Heredity and Evolution

We know that Charles Darwin put forth the theory of evolution which stated that only the fittest living organisms are bound to survive any change that they may encounter in their surroundings.

As per the heredity meaning and the heredity definition, it is clear that the process in a living organism is dependent on its parent organism for the traits that it may have inherited. Evolution on the other hand occurs when a living organism adapts itself according to the changes in its environment. 

When asked to define the heredity, you can say that it is all about inheriting traits from your parents. In evolution, an entire species goes through certain changes to make themselves better.

It can be said that heredity and evolution are two peas in a pod. The evolution of a species occurs due to the traits that they have inherited from their predecessors. It occurs over successive generations and involves the mutations in the inherited genetic sequences in an organism. 

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The heredity meaning or the heredity definition is used to acknowledge the process that stretches over generations. The child can inherit traits that may not be dominant in its parents. This occurs due to the hybridization of genes as per Mendel’s proposed theory. 

Heredity and evolution go hand in hand as the evolution of organisms takes place due to the mutations that occur in their genes. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define the Word “Heredity”.

The heredity meaning or the heredity definition is the passing of traits from one generation to the next by genetic mutations. It is defined as the phenomenon that transfers genetic information from a parent to their offspring.

Some of the heredity examples can be given as; if a child is left-handed then there is a high probability that the child’s father is left-handed as it is one of the dominant traits that can be inherited from the Father. On the other hand, it can also happen that both parents are short in height but their child is tall. This occurs when the recessive traits of both parents become dominant in the child.

2. Define Heredity in Biology.

When asked for heredity’s simple definition, it can be said that it is the process by which a child inherits genetic traits from its parents. The genetic characteristics are transferred from one generation to the other because of it. It is the reason why children resemble their parents in appearance or their behavior. 

The resemblance can also sometimes be seen in children and their grandparents or any other family member that is related to them by blood. For example, if the color of your eyes is the same as either of your grandparents then, it is a result of variations that occur in transferring genetic information over generations.

All of this occurs based on Mendel’s experiment and the laws that were obtained from it.