Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation in traits within a species. The study of human genetics can be performed at many levels. This entry discusses the structure of DNA and chromosomes, how genes code for proteins, and how mutation results in disease. Examples focus on communicative disorders.

Background: The Study of Traits

At the most fundamental level, one can study the inheritance patterns of a trait within a family or organism to determine if a trait appears to be passed on as a dominant or recessive trait. The terms dominant and recessive were coined by Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar who first discovered the discrete heritability of various traits, or phenotypes, as he called them, using common garden peas as his experimental model. Mendel ...

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