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Traditional Terms, Essay Example

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Discuss why the traditional terms dominance and recessive can be misleading concepts. Provide three examples where these terms are misleading

When speaking of dominant and recessive traits dominant means that it is more likely to succeed where as recessive means that this trait would be more likely to hide. This can be misleading because that is not always the case. Offspring receives an allele from each parent. Each parent could carry a dominant and recessive trait for a particular trait. If the offspring receives the recessive trait from each parent, then that recessive trait will be present rather than the dominant trait.

There are many examples of this. The first is eye color. If one parent has blue eyes and the second has brown eyes it would seem that offspring would have brown eyes because the blue eye trait is recessive. However, if the brown eyed parent carries the recessive trait for blue eyes, it could be that offspring will have blue eyes.
Blood type is another example. The A blood type and the B blood type are both dominant, but the O blood type is recessive. If one parent has an A blood type and the other parent has the B blood type, how is the dominant trait determined. It would be completely up to chance as to what blood type would actually be dominant in this matter, which can be misleading in that we are often taught that there can only be one dominant trait.

Another example that can be confusing is dwarfism. Dwarfism is actually a dominant trait, whereas the normal growth allele is recessive. There are far more people who have show the normal growth allele, than the dwarfism allele. It is still possible for two normal people to have offspring that suffer from dwarfism. Apparently the parents must carry the dominant trait in a recessive way for this to happen.

Recessive and dominant are not as clear and concise as many people deem them to be. There are many instances in which a dominant trait may not appear in a second generation; however it appears again in a third generation.

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