Chapter 13 Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles Lecture Outline Overview: Variations on a Theme Living organisms are distinguished by their ability to reproduce their own kind. Offspring resemble their parents more than they resemble less closely related individuals of the same species. The transmission of traits from one generation to the next is called heredity or inheritance. Offspring differ somewhat from their parents and siblings, which demonstrates variation . Farmers have bred plants and animals for desired traits for thousands of years, but the mechanisms of heredity and variation eluded biologists until the development of genetics in the 20th century. Genetics is the scientific study of heredity and hereditary variation. ○ Genetics has revolutionized medicine and agriculture. ○ Our ability to manipulate the genetic material, DNA, has raised some thorny social and ethical questions. Evolutionary adaptation depends on a population’s genetic variation.
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