Reproduction Research Paper

1180 Words5 Pages
The human body is made up of millions of cells, each containing heritable information in the form of DNA. This DNA contains genetic information known as genes which can be passed down from one generation to the next, and is expressed as the numerous traits we see in various organisms today. Genes can therefore be seen as the unit of inheritance from parent to offspring (Campbell undated). In the following essay I will discuss the reproductive process and how the passing of genes leads to offspring having similarities to their parents. In addition I will look at the two methods of reproduction and how each leads to similar or different traits expressed in the offspring, as well as the evolutionary significance of genetic variation within a population.
Every cell in every living organism contains DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is wound up around proteins to form chromosomes, and along these chromosomes are sections which code for different traits in the organism, known as genes. Thus the program of genetics is written in the language of DNA (Steitz undated). Chromosomes are comprised of thousands of genes, each having specific sequences of nucleotides which code for specific traits in the organism or functions within each cell. These features could include eye or hair colour of a human, or a specific protein or enzyme which can produce an organism’s inherited traits (Steitz undated).
The procedure of reproduction to form a new generation of a particular organism involves the process of meiosis. Meiosis replicates the genes of the parent organism which are then passed down to the offspring. Each organism has a characteristic number of chromosomes which control their hereditary information. Humans contain forty-six chromosomes in ...

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...ed on the fact that all organisms are made up of the same four nitrogenous bases combining to form nucleotides. From the simplest of bacteria millions of years ago, to the most complex structures and systems found in mammals today, all organisms are comprised of the same nucleotides, merely arranged differently. These nucleotides, which form the genetic code, are transferred from one generation to the next through DNA in either asexual or sexual reproduction. Over millions of years of evolution and adapting to ever changing environments, organisms continue to pass down hereditary information to their offspring (Steitz undated). This is proof of an ancestral link between all organisms that live on earth today, as well as those which have perished to extinction. Thus the continuity of life is preserved through the passing of heritable information in the form of DNA.
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