Free course

Inheritance of characters

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Genes are units of inheritance that contribute to a person's behaviour and health. In this free course, Inheritance of characters, you will learn what genes, DNA and chromosomes are and how they combine to make the human genome. You will also learn how the principles of inheritance work, the effect that our genetic make-up has on health, and how genetic material is passed on from generation to generation.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand that genes are the units of inheritance for individual characteristics and also may contribute to susceptibility to certain diseases
  • understand the number of chromosomes that make up the human genome and where they are located within the cell
  • understand something of the immense scale of the human genome project
  • understand how gametes are produced by the process of meiosis and how the full complement of 46 chromosomes is restored at fertilisation
  • understand the role of the X and Y chromosomes in determining sex and how they are inherited.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 10/01/2019

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