Inheritance (Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders)
Inheritance refers to the transmission of genetic information across generations. There are two types of inheritance patterns in humans: Mendelian nuclear inheritance and non-Mendelian mitochondrial inheritance. The 23 pairs of human chromosomes located in the nucleus of the cells make up the human nuclear genome. This genome contains an estimated 30 to 40 thousand genes that we inherit in combination from our parents. These genes are called Mendelian-inherited nuclear genes, after Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk who first established the laws of inheritance in the late 1800s. There is also DNA, called mitochondrial DNA, or the mitochondrial human genome, in the cytoplasm that we inherit almost exclusively from our mothers. These mitochondrial genes are called non-Mendelian-inherited mitochondrial genes.
Mendelian type inheritance is the more familiar form of genetic inheritance. During reproduction, genetic material is passed from the mother and the father to the offspring. These genes are inherited according to the laws of segregation established by Gregor Mendel, and are called Mendelian-inherited nuclear genes.
A chromosomally normal human carries 23...
(The entire section is 3127 words.)
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