How are properties inherited

Definition Inheritance is the term given to the passing on of genetic information to the offspring. In humans this happens through sexual reproduction. Physical characteristics such as body size, blood group or hair color, susceptibility to disease and resistance, but also typical behavioral patterns such as fearfulness or self-confidence and skills such as manual skills or musical talent are inherited. The laws of inheritance were discovered in the middle of the 19th century by Gregor Mendel through experiments with pea plants.

The approximately 100,000 human genes are distributed over 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are located in each cell nucleus. An inheritance process and the resulting combination of genes that lead to the expression of certain characteristics is called inheritance. One inheritance pattern already described by Mendel is the dominant-recessive one: every child receives the genetic characteristics of both parents. However, the corresponding genes do not always have to be the same, but can vary. Therefore, different characteristics can develop, depending on which characteristic of a gene pair prevails. The characteristic that prevails is called dominant, the other recessive. However, the recessive trait can continue to be inherited and reappear in the next generation but one. One characteristic that is inherited in a dominant recessive manner is, for example, the color of the eyes. Mixed forms only occur in the case of intermediate inheritance.

Hereditary diseases, i.e. diseases that are congenital and are not acquired in the course of life, are usually inherited in a recessive manner; night blindness, for example, is an exception. It is inherited dominantly.