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Name: Juan
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: Guatemala
Date: Winter 2012-2913

What are the probabilities that a women inherits her mother's or her father's physical constitution?

Juan, To put this into simplest terms, for every gene, one allele (trait) comes from Mom and one allele comes from Dad, which is a 50/50 chance. Genes can be dominant or recessive or a mixture of one dominant and one recessive trait, which means the possibilities vary. If Mom and Dad are both carrying a recessive allele, their child might not look like them. Genetics is a little more complicated with the possibility of genes being expressed or not. There are many genes that control traits like height, hair, eye and skin color. That is the reason when a baby is born, we might see a resemblance to another relative. If your family carries a genetic disease that you are concerned about, it would be best to go to a genetic counselor and inquire about the odds. Sincerely. Judy Luke

Hi Juan,

Thanks for the question. However, the question is vague (to me at least). By "physical constition" are you referring to a physical trait (e.g., hair color), DNA, or an inherited disease (e.g., cystic fibrosis)? If you could let me know more, I am can answer your question better.

Thanks Jeff G.

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