What Genetic Traits Run in Your Family?

Yesterday was the birthday of Anna’s Great-Aunt Katherine, with whom she shares the shape of nose. Anna’s father, who died on July 20, also had that nose shape. He had a bad back, too, once hospitalized after bending to pick up a shaving cream top. Ten years ago today, Anna’a sister was hospitalized when her back went out. How do we know why family members share traits?

On this date in 1822, the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel was born (some report July 22, likely his baptismal day). Motivated by a repetitive and isolated monastic life, Mendel spent much of his time studying and meticulously recording inherited traits in pea plants, and then in bees. During his lifetime, his biology work wasn’t much touted, but his peers liked what he had to say about meteorology so he founded a society for that.

Oh, and Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in 1969. The televised images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking humankind’s first stroll there are Doug’s earliest memory. We’ll reminisce about this event in future posts!


3 thoughts on “What Genetic Traits Run in Your Family?

  1. About 1/5 of the people in my father’s extended family can’t discriminate between left and right (including me)–our brains just don’t seem to process directionality properly. Fortunately I don’t seem to have passed that trait on to either of my kids.

  2. @Brigid: The pic captures your personality better than your sturdy calves.

    @Jana: The brain is fascinating. You remind me, too, of my mom being an excellent map reader, and me taking the Test of Iowa Basic Skills, which had a map section.

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